Why is Kelp Important to the Ocean? The Benefits of Kelp Forests | BeCause Tees

Why is Kelp Important to the Ocean? The Benefits of Kelp Forests 

Kelp is a type of brown algae that grows in cold, shallow ocean waters. Similarly to a forest of trees on land, a kelp forest is a dense grouping of kelp under the water. While often seen as an annoying obstacle for swimmers and beachgoers, kelp actually plays a vital role in the ocean ecosystem. Let’s explore why kelp is important to the ocean and the many forms of life that call the ocean home.

Kelp in the ocean

Kelp Provides Important Habitat

Kelp forests provide habitats for a wide range of marine organisms. Many fish, invertebrates, and mammals rely on kelp for food, shelter, and breeding grounds. For example, some species of rockfish, snails, and crabs are highly dependent on kelp forests for survival.

These habitats also support many larger creatures, including:

  • Seals
  • Sea otters
  • Sea lions
  • Whales
  • Great Blue Herons
  • Shore Birds

Similarly to coral reefs, kelp forests are often referred to as the “rainforests of the ocean” because they’re so rich in biodiversity.

Kelp forest

Kelp Regulates the Ocean Environment

In addition to providing a home for marine life, kelp also plays an important role in regulating the ocean environment. Kelp forests help to stabilize the ocean floor, preventing erosion and protecting against storm surges.

Kelp Helps to Mitigate Effects of Climate Change

Absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, kelp helps to mitigate the effects of climate change. Kelp is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, and it has the ability to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into biomass. This makes kelp forests an important tool in the fight against climate change.

Kelp forest

Kelp is a Resource for Humans

Kelp is also a valuable resource for humans. It is used in a wide range of products, including food, medicine, and cosmetics. In many cultures, kelp has been used for centuries as a source of nutrition and healing. It is rich in vitamins (including A, K and B-12), minerals, and antioxidants, making it a popular ingredient in health supplements and beauty products.

Threats Facing Kelp Forests

Unfortunately, kelp forests are under threat from a variety of factors. Climate change, pollution, and kelp harvesting are all putting pressure on these important habitats. The decline of kelp forests has a devastating impact on the marine ecosystems that rely on them, not to mention the impact it has on the fight against climate change.

In conclusion, kelp is an incredibly important resource for the ocean. Kelp forests provide a home for countless species, they help to regulate the ocean environment, and kelp is also a valuable resource for humans. It is vital that we take steps to protect and conserve kelp forests, so that they can continue to play their important role in the ocean ecosystem for generations to come. Shop our hand-drawn designs today, including our Bull Kelp Collection, and we'll donate to nonprofit organizations including The Ocean Cleanup and plant trees.

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