About Us

We are a Netherlands-based nonprofit with a global vision to harness the power of kelp to help restore the health of the planet. Our core mission is to lead independent research focused on filling the knowledge gaps related to the ecosystem value of cultivated kelp forests. 

Our Vision

We believe in a future where both people and the planet are not only surviving, but thriving. With a regenerative powerhouse like kelp forests leading the surge to just climate solutions, we think this reimagined world is within reach. 

But before industry and scientists fully dive into kelps’ potential to restore our ocean, we must first wade through some murky waters. Essential questions remain around these ecosystems: How much carbon does kelp help remove from the atmosphere? How long does this carbon capture last? How can kelp forests improve water quality? Can kelp really feed the world? 

The Kelp Forest Foundation is committed to clearing up these knowledge gaps. As we strive to create a regenerative blue economy supporting sustainable livelihoods and inspiring climate action within coastal communities, we believe in the power of people to advocate for this underestimated ecosystem. 

We bridge the gaps between science, industry, and communities to ensure kelp forests receive the attention and support they deserve.

Our Focus Areas

Collaborating closely with leading researchers, field experts, and local communities, we undertake the pioneering studies necessary to achieve a restorative future for all. Through our research projects, we develop marine monitoring methods, gather data on the positive impact of kelp, and increase knowledge-sharing across disciplines. We ensure these crucial studies can continue by supporting the next generation of wild kelp and ocean stewards by making them applicable for kelp restoration and cultivation initiatives.

Our Team

Kelp Forest Foundation Team

Lieschen Smith

Managing Director

Xu Ben Zhang

Research Programme Lead

Board of Directors

Caroline Slootweg

Board Chair

Tim Flannery

Chief Scientist

Daniel Hooft

Board Member

Kat Bruce

Board Member

Sarah Mathies

Board Member

Scientific Advisory

Prof. Carlos M. Duarte

Scientific Advisor

Finn Ross

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Ian Hendy

Scientific Advisor

Prof. Dorte Krause-Jensen

Scientific Advisor

Our Partners

Research Partners

Associate & Industry Partners

Funding Partners

Partner with the Kelp Forest Foundation

Help us restore the health of our planet. Your support has an important impact on establishing giant kelp forests as a tool to combat climate change and biodiversity loss globally.