The Importance of Kelp Forests in the Salish Sea

The following article is written by Nora McCallum B.Sc., CIMA from SIMRES – Saturna Island Marine Research and Education Society. We collaborated for Haunted Sea as the event and their organization share a common goal – promoting sustainability and sea life protection . With this partnership, they designed an installation for the event.

For many years, Kelp forests around the world have been in decline and the Salish Sea has not escaped this phenomenon.

Healthy kelp forests are some of the richest ecosystems on Earth and are a sign of abundant and biodiverse sea life. Kelp forests provide shelter, habitat, and food for an array of fish including salmon, herring, rockfish, and many invertebrates. Additionally, orcas and humpbacks are often seen foraging close to the kelp forests.

Without vibrant and healthy kelp forests, all marine mammal foraging will deteriorate. Kelp forests maintain ecological balance and resilience in the face of climate change. They reduce the force of tidal and storm surges, provide a calming effect and reducing erosion. Additionally, Kelp absorbs and holds large amounts of carbon (carbon sequestration) and healthy kelp forests reduce ocean acidification.

To learn more, please visit the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site’s Haunted Sea, available 10am-5pm until October 31, 2022. For all ages, regular admission applies.