Enchanted Kelp Forest
This underwater forest is full of different places to live. Giant kelp plantsmore than 100 feet tallrise from the ocean's rocky floor to its sunlit surface. Animals high and low find shelter here.
If you think you're growing fast, check out giant kelp. This amazing plant grows about three to five inches each day in our exhibits, and 10 to 12 inches a day out in the bay!
Kelp forest homes
At the bottom of the kelp forest, it's dark.
Animals like sponges and anemones cling to rocks. The holdfast, a rootlike mass that anchors giant kelp to the seafloor, is home to baby octopus, crabs, sea stars and urchins.
Below the waves, kelp fronds are home to fish large and small.
Some live in the water between kelp plants, and others hover near the kelp blades, blending in. Some live near the surface, where it's bright and colorful. Others live down deep in a world of seaweeds and shadows.
At the ocean's surface, kelp blades offer shelter from the waves.
Seabirds and tiny fish find safety in the kelp forest canopy. Sleepy sea otters wrap themselves in blankets of kelp while they nap, to keep from drifting.
The kelp forest thrives with
sun and waves
Kelp forests are found close to shore. They thrive in water with lots of nutrients, sunlight, and cold ocean swells. As kelp plants sway in the waves, they absorb nutrients from the sea water. Giant kelp fronds spread across the water's surface, where their long, leaflike blades can soak up sunlight.
Kelp forest homes need protection
Hundreds of animals depend on healthy kelp forests, and kelp forests need clean, pollution-free water. Keep trash out of the kelp forest and the whole ocean. When you pick up plastic and other litter, recycle what you can and put the rest in the garbage.