Our annual bull kelp surveys were a huge success this year thanks to community donations, funding from the Federal Habitat Stewardship Program, and a little luck with the weather. Our bull kelp surveys can only be completed during the lowest tides each August, and this year we had perfect low wind conditions that allowed us to complete a survey of all seven of our long-term monitoring sites around Mayne Island. More good news; the surface area extent of bull kelp at all of our sites increased from 2018! A big thanks to volunteers Fred Mussett and Andy Blackburn for helping us with the surveys again this year, it was a blast! If you’re interested in helping out with this important monitoring work, please contact Rob Underhill to be added to our email list for Marine Citizen Science volunteer opportunities.
In addition to completing our long-term monitoring sites, this year we invested time to train community groups on Pender, Galiano, and Saturna Islands in partnership with the Galiano Conservancy Association, the Pender Island’s Conservancy Association, and the Saturna Island Marine Research and Education Society. Local volunteer teams on each island are setting up their own long-term monitoring sites and will be sending us the data to add to what is becoming a regional database centered on Mayne Island, and coordinated by the Mayne Island Conservancy.
Below is a visual summary of our bull kelp monitoring data. Click on the slideshow to proceed to the next slide. If you are a researcher or natural resource manager interested in access to our geospatial data please contact Rob Underhill at email@example.com. For more information about the biology and ecological importance of bull kelp, check out an article by Kelly Fretwell and Rob Underhill here.