The primary goal of the Goleta Bay kelp anchor study was to determine if it is feasible to use this kelp regeneration method to aid in recovery of the sand-dwelling kelp beds. Additionally, due to the size and location of the kelp bed that once existed offshore of Goleta Bay it is plausible it altered the coastal currents in a manner favourable to the formation of a wide beach.
Site Selection Criteria:
A sandy site was selected that once hosted extensive Macrocystis pyrifera beds that have since disappeared.
Cause Of Decline:
Sand-dwelling Macrocystis beds have failed to recover since they disappeared in the early 1980’s, beginning with the 1982/’83 El Niño event. The lack of recovery may be due in part to the absence of predators such as sea otters foraging within the sand barrens. Additionally, once the numbers of plants comprising the beds drop below a certain critical mass and spacing, they are no longer capable of altering the local conditions in ways needed to ensure their continued survival and they too eventually disappeared.