Abstract Title

Session S-03E: Kelp Restoration

Proposed Abstract Title

Bull kelp mapping and replanting on Gabriola Island: The role of citizen-science

Keywords

Habitat

Location

Room 613-614

Start Date

30-4-2014 3:30 PM

End Date

30-4-2014 5:00 PM

Description

On Gabriola Island, British Columbia, a group of community volunteers have focused their efforts to map and replant Bull Kelp. Help The Kelp has tried three approaches for replanting with varying degrees of success. In the winter of 2009 the group coordinated with the Nile Creek Enhancement Society in Bowser to try an untested protocol. Pre-drilled rocks were dropped overboard in a defined area and short pieces of rope were looped through holes with line that was inoculated with immature Bull Kelp growing on it. There was a small but not measurable increase in Bull Kelp in following years, but this approach failed to produce dramatic or verifiable results. In January of 2011 a more traditional approach often used by commercial kelp farmers was adopted. Two 30m long lines were placed near the bottom of the ocean and secured onto rocks with floats spread across their length to keep them off the bottom. Inoculated line was then wrapped around these ropes. Unfortunately this experiment did not work, and several other varieties of kelp common to the area colonized the rope. Team members mapped the entire island’s canopy over the summer of 2013. This was based on an approach pioneered by the Mayne Island Conservancy Society. With our new map, Help The Kelp will be able to assess future changes in canopy coverage, and can assess the impact of interventions. In the fall of 2013 we pioneered and deployed another new approach that involved working with Bull Kelp at an earlier stage in its lifecycle. Mature sori from densely populated areas were harvested, dried temporarily, and then stuffed into pre-drilled carboys. We should know by late spring or early summer of 2014 if this densification approach works. Help The Kelp is attempting to develop simple, cost-effective approaches and best practices for rebuilding kelp canopies, and hopes that other communities will learn from our work.

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Apr 30th, 3:30 PM Apr 30th, 5:00 PM

Bull kelp mapping and replanting on Gabriola Island: The role of citizen-science

Room 613-614

On Gabriola Island, British Columbia, a group of community volunteers have focused their efforts to map and replant Bull Kelp. Help The Kelp has tried three approaches for replanting with varying degrees of success. In the winter of 2009 the group coordinated with the Nile Creek Enhancement Society in Bowser to try an untested protocol. Pre-drilled rocks were dropped overboard in a defined area and short pieces of rope were looped through holes with line that was inoculated with immature Bull Kelp growing on it. There was a small but not measurable increase in Bull Kelp in following years, but this approach failed to produce dramatic or verifiable results. In January of 2011 a more traditional approach often used by commercial kelp farmers was adopted. Two 30m long lines were placed near the bottom of the ocean and secured onto rocks with floats spread across their length to keep them off the bottom. Inoculated line was then wrapped around these ropes. Unfortunately this experiment did not work, and several other varieties of kelp common to the area colonized the rope. Team members mapped the entire island’s canopy over the summer of 2013. This was based on an approach pioneered by the Mayne Island Conservancy Society. With our new map, Help The Kelp will be able to assess future changes in canopy coverage, and can assess the impact of interventions. In the fall of 2013 we pioneered and deployed another new approach that involved working with Bull Kelp at an earlier stage in its lifecycle. Mature sori from densely populated areas were harvested, dried temporarily, and then stuffed into pre-drilled carboys. We should know by late spring or early summer of 2014 if this densification approach works. Help The Kelp is attempting to develop simple, cost-effective approaches and best practices for rebuilding kelp canopies, and hopes that other communities will learn from our work.