On Tuesday, April 4 Ocean Wise opened the doors on its Kelp Nursery in West Vancouver. The nursery, a significant step towards restoring and cultivating kelp forests in British Columbia, has implications extending far beyond the region.
To launch the nursery, Ocean Wise hosted donors, stakeholders and members of the media for a nursery tour and demonstration of Ocean Wise’s new remotely operated vehicle (ROV) which will be used to assess conditions and progress of kelp restoration.
Kelp forests are an essential part of ocean ecosystems, providing critical habitats for a vast array of marine life. They play a critical role in mitigating the impacts of climate change by sequestering carbon and producing oxygen and recent news has highlighted its role in creating quiet spaces for marine life. Unfortunately, kelp forests around the world are in decline due to ocean warming and other environmental factors.
Ocean Wise’s Seaforestation initiative aims to address this issue by restoring, protecting, and cultivating kelp forests. The Kelp Nursery, located at the Pacific Science Enterprise Centre in West Vancouver, will play a crucial role in advancing this mission. The nursery will act as a research and development hub to test new and improved techniques for kelp restoration and cultivation. This will be done by experimenting with novel kelp seed production methods, which will help to fill significant knowledge gaps in the field.
In addition to advancing research, the Ocean Wise Kelp Nursery will also be a source of kelp seed for restoration efforts in local and further waters. This will allow Ocean Wise to assess the efficacy of their restoration efforts and refine their techniques accordingly. The nursery will also create opportunities for community members, students, and young ocean leaders to engage hands-on with kelp restoration. By involving local First Nations in all stages of kelp restoration and facilitating the input of traditional Indigenous knowledge into restoration protocols, Ocean Wise is working to ensure that their efforts are both ecologically and culturally sustainable.
“The applied research at the Ocean Wise Kelp Nursery at the Pacific Science Enterprise Centre. will advance the scaling of seaforestation in British Columbia and beyond. Through Ocean Wise’s Seaforestation initiative, we aim to restore critical ocean habitats and marine life, build sustainable economic opportunities for coastal communities and increase carbon sequestration.”Carlos Drews, Executive Vice President, Conservation, Ocean Wise
The launch of the Ocean Wise Kelp Nursery was made possible in part thanks to generous financial contributions from TELUS and other donors. TELUS’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and becoming a zero-waste, carbon-neutral company by 2030 aligns with the goals of the Seaforestation initiative.
The implications of this initiative extend beyond British Columbia, making it a vital step towards a more sustainable future for our planet.