Kelp Forest Foundation


The Kelp Forest Foundation initiates and sustains restoration projects across the globe. Forging partnerships with ocean advocacy groups, key players in coastal communities, and local policy makers, we act as a facilitator to help restoration projects launch and stay afloat.          

We utilise our expertise in science, fundraising, and capacity building to ensure kelp forests are responsibly restored to a flourishing state.

What is Restoration and Why Do We Need More of It?

Kelp forests are disappearing – fast. With climate change accelerating disruptive events like massive marine heat waves and biodiversity loss, kelp forests are struggling to keep up with the rapidly shifting environment around them. 

But, restoration is here to help. This process aims to recover damaged ecosystems back to full health through a myriad of different approaches like herbivore management, seeding and citizen science.

Approaches to Restoration

Sea urchins mow down kelp forests with their vicious appetites – leaving behind a seafloor infested with spiky purple blobs. These sea urchin barrens are becoming more and more prolific as the number of their natural predators decline due to overfishing. 

To keep up with the overwhelming number of hungry herbivores, ocean protection groups spearhead restoration projects that focus on reducing the number of purple sea urchins in a given area to around 2 urchins per square meter.  

This goal is achieved through culling (killing), relocation or the reintroduction of a top predator.

Seeding takes place when young kelp specimens are out-planted into the wild. Restoration projects that focus on seeding often grow kelp from a spore (a seed-like capsule that contains kelp’s reproductive genetic materials) and attach them to artificial hard substrates like ropes and spore bags.

Transplanting moves older, more mature kelp from an existing forest into a new area. This method helps start new forests with kelp that are more resilient to the changing environment.

Green gravel is a popular type of seeding method that involves small stones covered with kelp spores. This ‘Green Gravel’ is grown in a lab until they reach an age that is suitable for wild environments.

Many kelp restoration projects rely on coastal communities who engage with the ocean often to help monitor the success of their efforts. This can be done through monitoring the number of species, taking surveys on and in the water and evaluating the dead seaweed that washes up on shore.

Future proofing involves selectively breeding kelp plants to ensure the most climate resistant and genetically diverse populations make it to the wild.

Research, Recognize, Restore.

Interested in our kelp forest research?

Join us in embracing kelp’s potential to restore the planet. By supporting our efforts, you will help address the remaining marine mysteries surrounding kelp forests and fund game-changing research projects designed to answer them. Together, we can establish kelp forests as a critical climate champion and build a thriving future from the seafloor up.