Restoration Project

Vancouver Island University - Winchelsea Island Site

Restoration Objective:

The aim of this study was to form self-sustaining N. luetkeana kelp forests within study sites, and provide habitat for species that normally use these kelp beds. Additionally, it aimed to collect baseline data regarding water parameters and species composition at each site to assist future projects in understanding how bull kelp is being impacted over time by changing environmental and climatic conditions.

Site Selection Criteria:

Site selection for N. luetkeana was based on local knowledge of divers and fishermen. Both sites were determined to have rocky substrate with suitable depths of approximately 9 meters, and suitable currents that support the growth of N. luetkeana.

Cause Of Decline:

There is evidence that bull kelp (N. luetkeana) populations have been in steady decline within the central Strait of Georgia in recent decades. Reasons for the declines may include coastal development, rising ocean temperatures, local changes in oceanographic conditions (e.g. salinity, turbidity and sedimentation), intensified herbivore grazing or a combination of these factors.

Key Reasons For Decline:


Scientific Paper

Bull Kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) enhancement plots in the Salish Sea

P. Shaw, W. Heath, Tomlin Watershed, Timmer H., undefined B., C. Schellenberg, .


Vancouver Island University

Site Observations:

Observation Date

6th Jun 2018 – 16th Aug 2018

Action Summary:

Two concrete anchors were installed on the seafloor with a 19mm diameter rope strung between them. Multiple spools of lines pre-seeded with N. luetkeana were wrapped onto the rope. Additionally, mature N. luetkeana were collected and transplanted onto the rope. Transplants were secured by one of two methods. Some (Method A) were secured by nylon cord looped around the stipe, with the loop being secured by a cable tie. The second method (Method B), involved fastening the holdfast directly onto the rope by wrapping veterinary tape around them. A total of 12 individual kelp were evenly distributed along the rope, with an even number of each method used at each site.

Lessons Learned:

Study is ongoing.

Project Outcomes:

The transplant of all mature N. luetkeana sporophytes occurred on June 6, 2018. By August 16, 2018, seven individuals remained between both sites; four that were attached via Method A, and three that were attached via Method B. The individuals that did not survive either snapped along their stipe, were grazed, or were completely absent from the site. Five individuals were observed to have sori over the summer.

Nature of Disturbance:

Some N. luetkeana individuals did not survive due to grazing, or they were detached or snapped by other disturbances.

Key Reasons For Decline:


Area of Restoration (In Square Metres)


Indicator Data:


Ending Value:

Starting Value:

Adult Kelp Count

Cost Currency:USD