Presentation Abstract

Although bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) is a prevalent nearshore habitat throughout the Salish Sea, its distribution and seasonal bed area dynamics are poorly characterized. Island County contains bull kelp beds that are positioned in dramatically different oceanographic situations. The western part of the County is fully exposed to marine conditions of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Admiralty Inlet, while the eastern part is exposed to the strong freshwater influence of the largest rivers in Puget Sound. Each part contains bull kelp beds, providing an opportunity to compare their seasonal dynamics. Since 2015, the Island County Marine Resources Committee has supported surveys of bull kelp beds in County waters by trained volunteers. One type of monthly survey estimates the areas of selected beds by GPS tracking of bed perimeters, also collecting contextual data such as temperature & depth. Concurrently, surveyors record anecdotal observations of bed use by animals and collect underwater videography and photographs. A second type of survey uses visible light and near infrared aerial imaging to document locations of kelp beds throughout the County’s nearshore waters. These volunteer-driven surveys provide new information about the County’s marine resources, and document distinct contrasts in bull kelp beds located in different oceanographic conditions.

Session Title

Kelp Distribution and Recovery Strategies in the Salish Sea: Part I

Keywords

Seasonal dynamics, Habitat, Volunteer-driven, Videography

Conference Track

SSE1: Habitat Restoration and Protection

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE1-31

Start Date

6-4-2018 9:30 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 9:45 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 6th, 9:30 AM Apr 6th, 9:45 AM

Bull kelp bed surveys in Island County, Washington USA

Although bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) is a prevalent nearshore habitat throughout the Salish Sea, its distribution and seasonal bed area dynamics are poorly characterized. Island County contains bull kelp beds that are positioned in dramatically different oceanographic situations. The western part of the County is fully exposed to marine conditions of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Admiralty Inlet, while the eastern part is exposed to the strong freshwater influence of the largest rivers in Puget Sound. Each part contains bull kelp beds, providing an opportunity to compare their seasonal dynamics. Since 2015, the Island County Marine Resources Committee has supported surveys of bull kelp beds in County waters by trained volunteers. One type of monthly survey estimates the areas of selected beds by GPS tracking of bed perimeters, also collecting contextual data such as temperature & depth. Concurrently, surveyors record anecdotal observations of bed use by animals and collect underwater videography and photographs. A second type of survey uses visible light and near infrared aerial imaging to document locations of kelp beds throughout the County’s nearshore waters. These volunteer-driven surveys provide new information about the County’s marine resources, and document distinct contrasts in bull kelp beds located in different oceanographic conditions.