Restoration Project

University of California institute of Marine Science - Abalone Cove

Restoration Objective:

The objective of restoration efforts was to restore lost Macrocystis forests and their associated biological and economic value.

Site Selection Criteria:

A site was selected with historical Macrocystis beds.

Cause Of Decline:

Two years of abnormally high sea surface temperatures from 1957 - 1959 caused the complete loss of the last remaining Macrocystis stands along Paolo Verde.

Key Reasons For Decline:

Ocean warming

Scientific Paper

Annual Report, Kelp Habitat Improvement Project 1974-1975. California Institute of Technology

W. North, , p.147.


University of California Institute of Marine Science

Site Observations:

Observation Date

1st Jun 1967 – 19th Apr 1975

Action Summary:

From 1969-1974, more than 8000 kelp plants were transplanted to Abalone cove. Gill-netting was used in an attempt to cull herbivorous fish such as halfmoon and opaleye in the area. Additionally, Macrocystis cultures were dispersed in the cove. In 1974, another 1970 plants were transplanted.

Lessons Learned:

Ongoing transplants, seeding and grazer control over 8 years contributed to the ultimate success of this restoration project.

Project Outcomes:

After spring 1974, Macrocystis was successfully re-established at Abalone cove, and is increasing without further restoration efforts.

Nature of Disturbance:

Grazing damage by Halfmoon and Opaleye (herbivorous fishes) and storms caused loss of transplanted kelps.

Key Reasons For Decline:

Ocean warming

Area of Restoration (In Square Metres)


Indicator Data:


Ending Value:

Starting Value:


Cost Currency:USD