University of California institute of Marine Science - Whites Point

Restoration Project

University of California institute of Marine Science - Whites Point

Restoration Objective:

The objective of restoration efforts was to restore lost Macrocystis forests and their associated biological and economic value. This site is near popular diving and recreational fishing sites, so kelp enhancement was also judged to potentially enhance these recreational activities.

Site Selection Criteria:

A site was selected with historical Macrocystis beds, near to popular recreational fishing and diving sites, where past restoration (removal of urchins) had already taken place.

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

Site Observations:

Observation Date

15th Jun 1971 – 15th Jul 1976

Action Summary:

In 1971-1973, urchins were eliminated from Whites Point. In 1974, scrap chains and buoys were used as moorings for transplanted kelps, with 485 adult plants and 2671 juveniles transplanted. An estimated 700 kelp crabs (Pugettia) were killed after transplantation to reduce grazing. 8 adult Macrocystis were introduced in 1975, and a further 482 juveniles were transplanted from Abalone Cove to Whites Point. 150 transplants were moved from Catalina Island in 1975, and installed on a mooring chain. Several kelp cultures were also dispersed in 1974 and 1975.

Lessons Learned:

Ongoing transplants, seeding and grazer control was used in this project. Ongoing restoration would be necessary to establish a healthy kelp bed at this site.

Project Outcomes:

In late June 1975, juvenile Macrocystis were observed at Whites Point, providing evidence that reproduction by this species is occurring sparsely here.

Nature of Disturbance:

Grazing by kelp crabs (Pugettia) disturbed initial kelp transplants.

Key Reasons For Decline:

Ocean warming

Area of Restoration (Ha)


Indicator Data:


Ending Value:

Starting Value:

Presence / Absence of Kelp