Projects of the Green Gravel Action Group
Project: Restoring Blue Forests with Green Gravel
ARC 2019 Linkage Project: Restoring blue forests with green gravel – This project aims to progress green gravel from concept to application on Ecklonia radiata reefs in Western Australia. The project will run over 4 years, during which we will develop and optimize the Green Gravel technique for this region, perform field tests, and conduct large scale restoration trials using targeted source populations. The end goal is to provide scalable and practical solutions to future-proof kelp forests against climate and anthropogenic stress.
Kjell Magnus Norderhaug
Project: Grønn Grus
This project is testing the green gravel tool on disappearing kelp forests in the Skagerrak, Norway. The project is part of ongoing research activities at the Flødevigen Station, Institute of Marine Research, to develop restoration approaches to recover lost Sacharrina latissima kelp forests along the southern coast. The project involves laboratory and field experiments to determine effective use of this technique on turf covered reefs. The end goal is to use this technique to restore large areas without the cost of divers or expensive equipment. The Institute of Marine Research ran the first green gravel trials and are continuing to develop this tool.
João N. Franco
Project 1: Seaforest Portugal
The project is testing different seeding techniques for the recovery of native kelp populations along the Portuguese coast. The green gravel methodology was adopted by the project with the objective of testing how the technique performs in the context of the prevailing oceanographic and environmental conditions of the Portuguese coastline.
Project 2: Green Gravel Portugal
This project will have 2 stages, the first being the expansion of the hatchery facility in MARE-IPL, co-funded by Mossy Earth, that will provide the foundation and enabling conditions to implement larger pilot projects within the coastal municipalities of Peniche and Cascais.
The second stage, co-funded by WWF, will be continuing to advance the testing of the green gravel technique under conditions of the Portuguese coast, while increasing the scale of previous tests in Cascais and Peniche. The project uses Laminaria ochroleuca as the target species. In this project we explore current limitations of the technique and ways to optimise its effectiveness. The municipalities of Cascais and Peniche will be engaged throughout the duration of the project which is envisioned to provide a steppingstone for larger projects in the future following SeaForester’s Blue Front Yard approach to restoring marine forests.
Southern California, USA
Project: Scaling a new cost effective intervention tool to restore and future-proof kelp forests.
California SeaGrant funded project to restore Macrocystis forests using green gravel. This research project is focusing on how to restore these iconic ecosystems, especially in the face of continued environmental change in the ocean. Project tasks include how to raise and outplant kelp to restore lost ecosystems using green gravel, identifying and cultivating resilient strains of kelp, and the creation of a seed bank to preserve genetic material.
Northern California, USA
Project: Assessment of practical methods for re-establishment of northern California bull kelp populations at an ecologically relevant scale
This project seeks to develop practical techniques for enhancing recruitment of bull kelp in northern California, specifically by: testing the efficacy of various methods for culturing bull kelp, conducting controlled field experiments to determine the most successful method for outplanting bull kelp recruits to areas following sea urchin removal, and monitoring bull kelp outplant growth, survival, and reproduction at field sites.
British Columbia, Canada
Chris Neufeld (BMSC, UBC)
Jonathan Page (UBC)
Sam Starko (UVic)
Julia Baum (UVic)
Sean Rogers (BMSC, University of Calgary)
S. Clay Steell (BMSC)
Loren Rieseberg (UBC)
Gregory Owens (UVic)
Project: The Kelp Rescue Initiative
The Kelp Rescue Initiative aims to restore kelp forests on British Columbia’s coasts to secure resilient and vibrant ecosystems. Launched at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre with support from the Ngan Page Family Fund, this initiative is targeting the protection and restoration of the Northeast Pacific’s two main canopy-forming kelp species, Nereocystis and Macrocystis, in ecologically significant areas in BC’s Salish Sea and outer coast. This initiative has established strong partnerships with First Nations, provincial and federal governments, leading academics at the University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, and the University of Calgary, as well as organizations such as the Pacific Salmon Foundation. For more information see www.kelprescue.org
Latin America + UK
Project: Kelp Ecosystems in Latin America: Pathways to Ecological Resilience
This NERC, Newton Fund, CONICYT and CONCYTEC funded project is investigating the structure connectivity and resilience of exploited kelp ecosystems in order to provide sustainable, ecosystem-based fisheries management. As part of the project, kelp restoration techniques will be tested across a variety of contexts. In the first instance, we will test the performance of the green gravel technique along both a wave exposure and tidal gradient in the UK. We later plan to test the technique as a method to restore threatened Macrocystis forests in Peru.
John Craig Sanderson
Project: Restoration of String Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifra) habitats on Tasmania's east and south coasts
Seacare aim to create a ‘critical mass’ of Macrocystis kelp in currently impoverished areas to increase the species’ resilience to adverse conditions. Replanting trials in Tasmania have already shown signs of success. Plantings are currently occurring at Fortescue Bay, Deep Glen Bay and Lufra Cove on the Tasman Peninsula. This is a Seacare project (www.seacare.org.au) involving a few enthusiastic volunteers working through Eaglehawk Dive Centre. Currently supplied with excess gametophytes generated as part of the CRCp Seaweed Solutions for Sustainable Aquaculture (https://www.seaweedsolutions-crc.com/).
Southern New England, USA
Project: Restoration of kelp forests and associated ecosystem services in Long Island Sound, Southern New England
Piloting the green gravel kelp forest restoration technique as "proof of concept" for future broad scale kelp forest restoration
Project: Test of the Green gravel method on the west coast of Sweden
This is a collaborative project between the County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland County and the University of Gothenburg. The aim of the project is to test the "Green Gravel" method under the environmental and oceanographical conditions along the Swedish west coast. The target species of this project is the kelp Saccharina latissima which is occurs in large numbers along the west coast, but is vulnerable to rising sea temperature and eutrophication. Hopefully the method will become a cost-effective large-scale restoration tool for large brown algae. This is a two-year project, running from 2021 – 2022 and the test sites are closely situated to Kristineberg's marine research station.
Wellington, New Zealand
Love Rimurimu is a collaborative initiative. See their website for more details.
Project: Love Rimurimu
Love Rimurimu is a community-led and kaitiaki-guided seaweed regeneration project aiming to develop scalable methods to restore different seaweed species at significant sites in Wellington together with research and industry partners.
Identification and reduction of stressors and developing different regeneration techniques on scale will inform restoration toolkits for other regions in New Zealand.
Read more about the project on their website: https://www.loverimurimu.org/
Maren Moltke Lyngsgaard
Project: Green Gravel - Novel kelp forest restoration method tested on artificial boulder reefs in Danish waters
The study aims to test the application potential of the green gravel kelp restoration method on artificial boulder reefs in Danish waters. The method will be tested using two native species Saccharina latissima and Laminaria digitata. In parallel, the effect of salinity on growth for juvenile sporophytes of the two species is tested to frame the geographic areas in which this method is applicable based on salinity dependent growth.
Baja California, Mexico
Project: SPORA - Socioecology and Planning for Optimal Restoration of Algae
SPORA is multidisciplinary project with the objective of deploying the first green gravel pilot for giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, alongside fishing communitiesin the Mexican Pacific
Sunshine Coast, Canada
Project: The Vital Kelp Restoration Project
The Vital Kelp Restoration Project, established in 2018 at an existing permitted aquaculture site on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, began trialing cultivation, seeding and out planting methods borrowed from the kelp-on-line aquaculture industry. Cultivated Nereocystis, Saccharina and Alaria kelp were not harvested for commercial purposes, instead, left in the water for habitat provisioning and to mature and contribute sorus material for re-recruitment of kelp beds devastated by urchin overgrazing. Like clockwork every year in early spring, millions of tube snouts, Aulorhynchus flavidus eggs are laid in the kelp holdfasts. Juvenile salmonids, herring and anchovies find refuge under 3000 m of suspended kelp lines. This project has support from the shíshálh Nation, the BC Conservation Foundation, the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Bisgrove lab at SFU. Securing funding for this Salish Sea community-led effort remains the most challenging barrier to scaling up kelp restoration in this region. We would like our project to become a research field site for university students and we like to engage and encourage youth to take up post-secondary studies in marine sciences.
Auckland, New Zealand
Te Runga o Te Whānau
Te Wairua o te Moannui – Ocean Spirit
Project: Nga Pari Moana ("the breath of the ocean")
Partnering with traditional owners we aim to develop a cheap and publicly accessible protocol for kelp reforestation using green gravel in Aotearoa|New Zealand. Our initial focal species is the dominant eco-engineering kelp Ecklonia radiata. Ultimately, our measure of success for this project is the day the academic team are no longer required. For us, this would mean that the community have taken full ownership and credit for the reforestation of their blue backyard allowing the scale-up required to achieve our national conservation goals.
Project: Fucalean Forests
The Fucalean Forests team aims broadly to understand the ecology of fucalean species in the northern Adriatic Sea and the factors that drive their regression. We are currently trialling an ex-situ restoration method, where specimens of the once common, but now infrequent Cystoseira, Gongolaria, Ericaria and Fucus species are lab-cultivated. Our aim is to enhance remnant settlements or re-establish lost ones in line with developing restoration guidelines for Meditteranean seaweeds. Our goal is to develop a feasible, up-scaled restoration program for this region.