NPS Photos

The Mediterranean Coast Network Inventory & Monitoring Program oversees the kelp forest monitoring protocol. The protocol is being implemented at the following parks:

Channel Islands National Park
In 1982 Channel Islands National Park started the Kelp Forest Monitoring Program to collect baseline information about the park’s kelp forest ecosystem. Each year the program collects size and abundance data for over 70 taxa of algae, invertebrates, and fish that are indicators of ecosystem health. With these data they were able to show declines in harvested species like abalone and the loss of kelp beds around the Channel Islands. This information had strong influence over the state of California’s decision to establish nearly 20% of park waters as state marine protected areas. These areas limit the impacts of harvesting on many species and increases in overall size and biomass of many fish and invertebrates can already be observed in these no-take reserves. These protected areas also serve as a buffer to kelp forest ecosystems from the additive effects of other ecological threats. Learn more