By Annie Bauer-Civiello, Reef Check Restoration Program Director
Reef Check is rallying behind the Kelp Forest Alliance who have created a global challenge to restore one million hectares of lost underwater forest by 2040, called the Kelp Forest Challenge. This is intended to be similar to the Bonn Challenge to restore deforested landscapes.
Since November 2022, our Restoration Program Director, Annie, has joined over 250 kelp experts, professionals, and citizens from 25 countries in a series of workshops to create an inspirational target for kelp forest restoration.
“This initiative aims to encourage and facilitate positive actions and communities that can protect what is remaining and restore what has been lost with an ambitious shared vision for ensuring our kelp forests and the benefits they provide thrive into the future,” says Dr. Aaron Eger, Founder/Program Director of the Kelp Forest Alliance. For more information, check out the press release here.
In support of the challenge, Reef Check pledges that by 2030 we will:
- Work with at least ten local communities across the West Coast of the USA to restore at least five hectares of kelp forest each;
- Lead citizen scientists to conduct annual long-term monitoring surveys to assess the health of kelp forests using standardized monitoring protocol along the entire west coast of North America;
- Share the findings of our long-term monitoring and notify local governing agencies when kelp forests are in further decline, and act as an early warning system;
- Lead and support research to answer critical questions on kelp forest restoration;
- Train at least 1000 new volunteers to monitor kelp forests and provide education on the declining health of local kelp forests;
- Build awareness for kelp forests through social media, outreach, and education.