University of California institute of Marine Science - Pitas Point

Restoration Project

University of California institute of Marine Science - Pitas Point

Restoration Objective:

Developmental reefs were designed to improve sport fishing and to provide substrate for the establishment of giant kelp and associated biotic communities.

Site Selection Criteria:

The artificial reef was placed 30m offshore of a stand of giant kelp to encourage natural kelp recruitment.

Cause Of Decline:

Intensive human use of nearshore waters and associated resources, particularly off southern California, has contributed to the widespread deterioration and/or loss of reef and kelp forest habitat, disruption of trophic relationships, and decline of many living marine resources. Such changes first became evident In the mid-1940's and were related to coastal development, ocean sewage discharges, and Intensive fishing pressure and related Increases In numbers of herbivorous sea urchins. Since that time, the impact of human use on the marine environment has increased significantly.

Key Reasons For Decline:


Scientific Paper

Artificial reef plan for sport fish enhancement

K.C. Wilson, R.D. Lewis, H.A. Togstad

Site Observations:

Observation Date

15th Apr 1984 – 15th Apr 1987

Action Summary:

An artificial reef was constructed on a sandy bottom in 13m of water approximately one nautical mile from shore. It was composed of 9,078 metric tons of quarry rock, ranging in size from 0.3 to 2.0 m in diameter, and consisted of eight modules spaced about 18 m apart. Modules were irregular in shape, averaging 36 m x 20 m x 4.5 m. The modules encompassed an area of approximately 3.5 acres.

Lessons Learned:

A kelp bed was successfully established on the artificial reef.

Project Outcomes:

In April 1987, three years after construction, the reef supported a substantial stand of giant kelp and associated biota. Many of the kelp plants were at least two years old, and had an average of 16 fronds per plant. Whether the kelp stand at PPAR arose because of natural recruitment from the nearby kelp bed, kelp spore cultures, or kelp transplanting, it Is clear that giant kelp can germinate, mature and reproduce on artificial reefs.

Key Reasons For Decline:


Area of Restoration (Ha)


Indicator Data:


Ending Value:

Starting Value:

Presence / Absence of Kelp