Restoration Project

University of California institute of Marine Science - Dana point to Monarch Bay

Restoration Objective:

The aim of this study was to test several hypotheses on mass culture dispersal and aid Macrocystis regeneration.

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

15th Jun 1972 – 15th Jun 1974

Action Summary:

Embryonic Macrocystis plants were dispersed in the Dana Point - Monarch Bay region from June 1972. Twenty cultures were dispersed in 1974.

Lessons Learned:

Spore culture was less successful in deeper waters, possibly due to nutrient limitation. Kelp regeneration did not keep up with kelp loss due to storms.

Project Outcomes:

Significant Macrocystis canopies were regenerated in the shallowest regions off Dana Point and Monarch Bay. In 1975, aerial photographs revealed kelp in shallow water was present almost continuously from Dana Point to Monarch Bay. Sparse numbers of juveniles were appearing in deeper water 45-55 ft off Dana Point. Kelp was lost due to storms in 1976, and by 1977, only half the kelp coverage existing in 1975 had been restored.

Key Reasons For Decline:

Ocean warming

Area of Restoration (In Square Metres)


Indicator Data:


Ending Value:

Starting Value:


Cost Currency:USD