Abstract Title

Session S-03E: Kelp Restoration

Keywords

Habitat

Start Date

30-4-2014 3:30 PM

End Date

30-4-2014 5:00 PM

Description

Edmonds Underwater Park in Puget Sound just north of the Edmonds Ferry Terminal contains extensive bull kelp (Nereocystist sp.) bed in the north east corner. Kelp grows on a natural gravelly substrate but most of the Park has a sand bottom. Kelp also grows on some of the artificial structures placed in the Park but not in a dense pattern like in the northeast corner. Beginning in 1999 we began a series of efforts to encourage the kelp to grow farther south in the Park. We have employed two basic techniques: an Oasis approach and a Linear approach. We started with the Oasis approach creating rock/concrete mounds, cairns, to scope out suitable sites. Once we had a positive response from the Oasis effort we could ramp things up. We then tried our hand at Linear structures following depth contours from rock / concrete rubble to extend the kelp pattern. Our success has been using native rocks as well as recycled ones from prior features and infrastructure to support our continued progress. Diver surveys of the existing kelp bed and the areas deeper and in each direction along shore were made to explore what options might be available. We began with three Oasis features: The Zig-Zag, a 70 foot long split rail fence shaped structure (1999); The Erratics, 15 cairns in a 20 foot grid pattern (2003-5); Matt’s Place which is a series of cairns placed on foundation pieces to help reduce material subsidence (2009-12). These were followed up with a low New England styled rock wall which stretches 500 feet following the – 12 foot (MLLW) contour (still in progress). We have started efforts to connect the rock wall with the Erratics with additional cairns. To support this effort we have placed two diver trails along the bottom; Glacier Way which is about 1,000 feet and Rocky Road which is about 750 feet long to assist with construction and follow-on assessment. The trails were located to avoid running through eel grass beds closer to shore. The proof has been in the kelp’s favorable response to the rock wall and Matt’s Place. We had a scattered response to the Oasis approach at the other sites with kelp growth but not annually. The rockfish seem to be enjoying the cairns and the lingcod have used them as nesting sites over the years. The red algae (for example Chondracanthus sp. Turkish Towel and Cryptopleura sp. Hidden Rib) enjoy the block and rope trails masking it from sight with lush growth late in the season. The only down side to the success is the continued presence of the warty kelp condition (a Streblonema-like endophyte) seems to persist consistently in the Park. This effort has been supported seasonally by the Edmonds Underwater Park Volunteers with cooperation from the City of Edmonds.

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

Kelp Bed Expansion at Edmonds Underwater Park

Room 613-614

Edmonds Underwater Park in Puget Sound just north of the Edmonds Ferry Terminal contains extensive bull kelp (Nereocystist sp.) bed in the north east corner. Kelp grows on a natural gravelly substrate but most of the Park has a sand bottom. Kelp also grows on some of the artificial structures placed in the Park but not in a dense pattern like in the northeast corner. Beginning in 1999 we began a series of efforts to encourage the kelp to grow farther south in the Park. We have employed two basic techniques: an Oasis approach and a Linear approach. We started with the Oasis approach creating rock/concrete mounds, cairns, to scope out suitable sites. Once we had a positive response from the Oasis effort we could ramp things up. We then tried our hand at Linear structures following depth contours from rock / concrete rubble to extend the kelp pattern. Our success has been using native rocks as well as recycled ones from prior features and infrastructure to support our continued progress. Diver surveys of the existing kelp bed and the areas deeper and in each direction along shore were made to explore what options might be available. We began with three Oasis features: The Zig-Zag, a 70 foot long split rail fence shaped structure (1999); The Erratics, 15 cairns in a 20 foot grid pattern (2003-5); Matt’s Place which is a series of cairns placed on foundation pieces to help reduce material subsidence (2009-12). These were followed up with a low New England styled rock wall which stretches 500 feet following the – 12 foot (MLLW) contour (still in progress). We have started efforts to connect the rock wall with the Erratics with additional cairns. To support this effort we have placed two diver trails along the bottom; Glacier Way which is about 1,000 feet and Rocky Road which is about 750 feet long to assist with construction and follow-on assessment. The trails were located to avoid running through eel grass beds closer to shore. The proof has been in the kelp’s favorable response to the rock wall and Matt’s Place. We had a scattered response to the Oasis approach at the other sites with kelp growth but not annually. The rockfish seem to be enjoying the cairns and the lingcod have used them as nesting sites over the years. The red algae (for example Chondracanthus sp. Turkish Towel and Cryptopleura sp. Hidden Rib) enjoy the block and rope trails masking it from sight with lush growth late in the season. The only down side to the success is the continued presence of the warty kelp condition (a Streblonema-like endophyte) seems to persist consistently in the Park. This effort has been supported seasonally by the Edmonds Underwater Park Volunteers with cooperation from the City of Edmonds.