California Department of Fish and Wildlife - San Mateo Point

Restoration Project

California Department of Fish and Wildlife - San Mateo Point

Restoration Objective:

The Pendleton Artificial Reef (PAR) was built to determine the potential of artificial reefs for mitigating or compensating for possible losses of kelp-reef habitat caused by operation of coastal power plants.

Site Selection Criteria:

The reef was constructed on a featureless sandy bottom (-13.1 mean lower low water) 1.8km offshore.

Cause Of Decline:

Kelp forests are nearshore habitats containing large brown algae that form dense, structurally complex, species-rich surface canopies. Kelps also provide beneficial services to humans through direct harvest, increased fisheries productivity and recreation activities. Given these characteristic, it may be beneficial to create kelp forests to replace natural forests that have been altered by human activities, such as the operation of coastal power plants.

Key Reasons For Decline:

Physical Disturbance

Scientific Paper

Benthic Succession on an Artificial Reef Designed to Support a Kelp–Reef Community

J.W. Carter, A.L. Carpenter, M.S. Foster, W.N. Jessee
Bulletin of Marine Science, Vol. 37.

Site Observations:

Observation Date

1st Sep 1980 – 1st Apr 1983

Action Summary:

An artificial reef was built using approximately 9.1 x 10kg of quarry rock to create eight small reefs. Although all modules were constructed of large quarry rock, modules 1,2,4,5 and 8 were designed to have smaller size "cobble" on their tops.

Lessons Learned:

This study suggests that colder winter water temperatures would have increased algal recruitment success.

Project Outcomes:

During the study period, small foliose and filamentous algae accounted for 56% of the overstory cover. An ectoproct (Cryptoarcachnidium) and barnacles accounted for 66% of the understory cover. Cryptoarcachnidium was particularly abundant on small modules, while algal turf was highest on modules constructed primarily of boulders. Algal turf was negatively correlated with ectoprocts, and was greatest on module crests where light and water motion were highest. It appears light, turbidity and competitive interaction with ectoprocts limit the cover of algal turfs on module crests. The colonisation of the PAR by mostly sessile invertebrates may have been due to the warm seasonal water temperatures.

Key Reasons For Decline:

Physical Disturbance

Indicator Data:


Ending Value:

Starting Value:

Presence / Absence of Kelp