Kelp forests are
vanishing all around
the world. Fast.

We’re developing science-
backed solutions to restore
and strengthen them.

Many of the world’s kelp forests are declining. Over the last seven years, up to 95% of kelp has disappeared in some areas off North America’s west coast.

Increasing water temperatures are killing kelp forests at the surface. And mass die-offs of sea stars mean urchins are killing them from below. The result is a stressed ecosystem that is severely out of balance.

Help the kelp,
and the kelp
will help you.

Just like jungles, healthy kelp forests are rich in life. They provide food and shelter for dozens of species, creating diverse and vibrant marine ecosystems.

Just like jungles, healthy kelp forests are rich in life. They provide food and shelter for dozens of species, creating diverse and vibrant marine ecosystems.

Fish

Salmon, lingcod, herring, and rockfish depend on kelp forests to find food, hide from predators, and safely lay their eggs for the next generation of fish to flourish.

Crabs and shrimp

Dozens of crab and shrimp species feed on the kelp itself or prey on smaller animals that live in the kelp forests.

Sea stars

Kelp forests are home to species like the giant Sunflower Sea Star, which eat sea urchins that graze upon the kelp, keeping the ecosystem in balance.

Whales

Grey whales visit kelp forests to feast on the abundant krill, shrimp, and crabs that live there. And humpback whales play with floating kelp fronds nearby in a behaviour known as “kelping”.

Sea otters

Sea otters spend much of their lives in kelp forests, which they use as shelter from predators like orcas and to find food like sea urchins and mollusks.

Seals and sea lions

Seals and sea lions use kelp forests to hunt for fish and other prey, and are sometimes found wrapped in kelp to sleep safely hidden from predators.

People

Coastal towns and cities depend on kelp forests for their fisheries and livelihoods, protection from powerful ocean waves, and their potential as a carbon sink in the race against climate change.

Kelp forests regulate water quality, and reduce acidity in the ocean. They can also protect our coastlines from storms and erosion.

Kelp forests also absorb CO2. Lots of it. Scientists believe it could become a powerful tool in the fight against climate change.

Knowledge
isn’t power until
it’s applied.

Knowledge
isn’t power until
it’s applied.

Successful kelp restoration starts with asking the right questions, building strong partnerships, and creating scalable solutions.

  • Foundational research

    To do, or not to do, that is the question. Through fieldwork, genetics, and state-of-the-art modeling, we’ll gain a better understanding of kelp, the best ways to restore it, and its role in fighting climate change.

  • Strategic partnerships

    Some issues are too big to solve alone. We collaborate closely with scientists, policy makers, First Nations, and environmental organizations to help accelerate the development of effective solutions.

  • Application at scale

    Science matters, but publishing papers can only be the beginning. We measure our success by the tangible impact we have. Because in the end, all that matters are solutions that help bring back kelp forests at scale — and at a rate faster than they decline.

Kelp forests cover one third of the world’s coastlines. An area 5x as big as all coral reefs.

A quarter of all the world’s kelp species are found along the Pacific coast of North America.

Bull kelp and giant kelp forests create large upright canopies, which provide vast habitats for marine species.

The diversity of kelp on B.C.’s vast coastline is unmatched, and provides unique opportunities for research and restoration.

Coral reefs
Kelp forests
Current research hotspots
Giant kelp (Macrocystis)

As a widespread and fast-
growing perennial, giant kelp is of particular importance for restoration efforts worldwide.

Bull kelp (Nereocystis)

The annual bull kelp is the largest species found in inshore waters, and can grow up to 100 feet in a single year.

Broughton Archipelago
Hornby/Denman Islands
Barkley Sound
Burrard Inlet
Bamfield Marine
Sciences Centre
University of
British Columbia
University of
Victoria

Kelp forests cover one third of the world’s coastlines. An area 5x as big as all coral reefs.

Coral reefs
Kelp forests

A quarter of all the world’s kelp species are found along the Pacific coast of North America.

Bull kelp and giant kelp forests create large upright canopies, which provide vast habitats for marine species.

Giant kelp (Macrocystis)

As a widespread and fast-
growing perennial, giant kelp is of particular importance for restoration efforts worldwide.

Bull kelp (Nereocystis)

The annual bull kelp is the largest species found in inshore waters, and can grow up to 100 feet in a single year.

Broughton Archipelago
Hornby/Denman
Islands
Barkley
Sound
Burrard
Inlet
BMSC
UBC
UVic

The diversity of kelp on B.C.’s vast coastline is unmatched, and provides unique opportunities for research and restoration.

Current research hotspots

Scientists to
the rescue

Scientists to
the rescue

  • Jon has a background in plant biochemistry and genomics. Before founding The Kelp Rescue Initiative he co-founded a successful cannabis science start-up. He’s witnessed the loss of kelp forests in BC from warming seas, and is passionate about reversing these declines.

    Learn more

    Jonathan Page

    Founder and Scientific Advisor

    Adjunct Professor, UBC

  • Jasmin’s expertise and leadership in kelp ecology, including experimental, field- and diving-based research are a strong asset to Kelp Rescue’s mandate to restore kelp ecosystems around Vancouver Island. She has led research projects on Canada’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts with a focus on kelp and urchin dynamics.

    Jasmin M. Schuster

    Program Manager

  • Sam has a decade of experience studying the ecology and evolution of kelp. His knowledge of kelp biology and climate change impacts in the ocean is invaluable to the Kelp Rescue Initiative.

    Learn more

    Samuel Starko

    Project Advisor

    Forrest Research Fellow, Wernberg Lab, UWA

  • With more than 20 years experience leading conservation-relevant ocean science research, Julia brings her broad expertise in marine ecology, data synthesis, EDI and climate change impacts and solutions to the initiative.

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    Julia K. Baum

    Scientific Advisor

    Professor and President's Chair, UVic

  • Sean brings more than 25 years of experience leading research in population persistence and adaptation to environmental change. His particular focus is in marine fishes, including pacific salmon.

    Learn more

    Sean Rogers

    Scientific Advisor

    BMSC Director, Professor, UCalgary

  • Clay has an M.Sc in invasive species ecology and has previously studied reproduction in intertidal macroalgae. He brings a professional background in lab management, research coordination, and science communication.

    Learn more

    Clay Steell

    Restoration Technician

  • Lauren contributes expertise in marine community ecology, researching responses to disturbance in ecosystems, and restoration field management. She also has extensive experience with scientific diving and planning deep-sea oceanographic cruises.

    Lauren Dykman

    Kelp Restoration Science Lead

    Postdoctoral Fellow, The Kelp Rescue Initiative & UVic

  • Camryn has a background in kelp physiology and ecology from her coursework at BMSC and time working as a kelp culture technician in the Martone Lab. She is also specializing in ecological restoration at the graduate level bringing a unique skill-set ideal for contributing to the Initiative’s goals.

    Camryn Good

    Assistant Coordinator of Restoration-Burrard Inlet

    MSc. Candidate, Ecological Restoration, SFU & BCIT

  • Connie is an elder from the Pune'luxutth Tribe and brings a love for the culture and traditions of all first peoples. With more than 20 years of commercial fishing she has a true love for coastal communities and restoring a healthy ocean. Connie brings experience from working with DFO and Arts & Culture within the Chemainus Valley.

    Connie Crocker (Xwulsiim)

    First Nations Liaison

  • Carolyn has spent the last five years working in ocean education, research, and monitoring. She is excited to be able to apply her background in marine ecology, scientific diving, and boat operating to tackling local kelp conservation.

    Carolyn McKinnon

    Assistant Kelp Culture Technician

    BSc, Dalhousie University

  • As a new graduate, Hannah brings her knowledge of kelp ecology, science diving skills and passion for marine ecology to the Kelp Rescue Initiative. Her work leading marine research and ocean education programs provides insight into both the lab and community based efforts of the initiative.

    Learn more

    Hannah Charness

    Assistant Kelp Culture Technician

    BSc Marine Biology (Co-op, Honours)

  • Alex has a diverse background in scientific project management, laboratory operations and fieldwork. She has developed her skills through various positions in aquatic research ranging from stock assessment biologist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, to algae culture technician at Nova Harvest.

    Alexandria Niese

    Operations Manager

  • Grace Melchers

    Assistant Project Coordinator

    Natural Resources Conservation BSc Graduate, UBC

  • Loren Rieseberg

    Genomics

    Killam Professor, UBC

  • Gregory Owens

    Genomics

    Assistant Professor, UVic

  • Jordan Bemmels

    Population Genomics

    Postdoctoral Fellow, Owens Lab, UVic

  • Natalia Bercovich

    Genomics

    Research Associate, Rieseberg Lab, UBC

  • Eric Gonzalez Segovia

    Genome Assembly

    Postdoctoral Fellow, Rieseberg Lab, UBC

  • Fernando Hernandez

    Historical Genomics

    BRC Postdoctoral fellow, Rieseberg Lab, UBC

  • Brian Timmer

    Historical Ecology and Kelp Restoration

    PhD student, Baum Lab, UVic

  • Romina Barbosa

    Broughton Area Kelp Conservation

    Postdoctoral Fellow, BMSC, UVic

  • Matthew Csordas

    Species Distribution Modeling

    PhD student, Baum Lab, UVic

  • Patrick Martone

    Kelp Thermal Performance

    Professor, UBC

  • Varoon P. Supratya

    Kelp Thermal Performance

    PhD Student, Martone Lab, UBC

  • Hannah Schriber

    Dive Coordinator

    Assistant Diving and Safety Officer, BMSC

  • Amanda Zielinski

    Dive Contractor

    CAUS 1 Diver

  • Rob Zielinski

    Dive Contractor

    CAUS 1 Diver

  • Rebecca Benjamin-Carey

    Communications Consultant

    Commercial Diver and CAUS 1 diver

  • Tessa Rehill

    Sea urchin and kelp interactions

    MSc Student, Baum Lab, UVic

  • Maycira Costa

    Broughton Area Kelp Conservation

    Professor, UVic

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