Lecture looks at kelp forests

Comox Valley Nature holds an illustrated lecture Sunday about the ecological importance of kelp forests.

In 2007, researchers for the Lenfest Ocean Program at the Pew Charitable Trusts released an important ground-breaking report on the state of kelp forests and their ecological importance.

The state of kelp forests has been shown to control water temperature, ocean productivity as well as the ability of oceans to absorb carbon dioxide and therefore even climate regulation.

Shorebird and salmon productivity depend on bull kelp.  As pointed out by Margaret Bowman, director of this program, “This study sounds an alarm to all those who love to walk on our beaches, fish in our oceans, eat seafood, or watch wildlife.

Comox Valley Nature will host a one-hour slide lecture by Amanda Zielinski entitled Turning the Tide on Declining Bull Kelp in Our Region.

Zielinski is a professional diver based on Hornby Island who heads the Bull Kelp Restoration Project, a regional effort to address this important and emerging problem.

The project works in co-operation with the Nile Creek Enhancement Society, the Deep Bay Marine Field Station and the Puget Sound Restoration Fund.

These relationships indicate how closely bull kelp is associated with the state of our freshwater watersheds. The state of bull kelp forests is affected by nutrient and sediment discharges associated with agriculture, forestry and development.

This is by far one of the most important unseen environmental challenges that we face today. It affects every facet of our lives.

The meeting and illustrated lecture will take place this Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Florence Filberg Centre in Courtenay.

— Comox Valley Nature

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