Sussex Kelp Restoration Project
With the second annual Onetrack1000 event on the 14th of June fast approaching, we wanted to share with you one of the many reasons we’ve partnered up with the incredible ocean charity, Blue Marine Foundation.
We partnered with Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) for Onetrack1000 last year, and thanks to fundraisers like you, raised an incredible £15,000 towards protecting the important UNESCO biosphere around the North Devon coast.
BLUE exists to combat over-fishing and the destruction of biodiversity – arguably the largest problem facing the world’s oceans. On a global level, key marine ecosystems that provide numerous ecosystem services, including habitats for fish species, are sadly in rapid decline.
BLUE’s aim is to put 30% of the world’s oceans under protection by 2030, and we are proud to be a part of it.
To kick start this decade, BLUE is pioneering the restoration of flagship habitats and species by providing best-practice case studies to Government.
One of these restoration projects is the Sussex Kelp Restoration Project:
Historically, kelp was abundant along the West Sussex coastline, but this important habitat has diminished over time, leaving just a few small patches and individual plants, mostly in shallow water and along the shoreline
Per acre, kelp forests can take up to 20x more CO2 from the atmosphere than land-based forests
This project could be a huge carbon and biodiversity win and set a standard for kelp conservation and restoration across the UK.
In 2019 the Help Our Kelp campaign with film narrated by David Attenborough raised significant support for a consultation by Sussex IFCA to close a large area of Sussex’s nearshore waters to trawling to allow the seabed to recover including historic kelp beds.
Kelp forest facts:
- Kelp beds are spawning grounds for many species of fish as well as important nursery grounds for juvenile fish
- Kelp holdfasts, the bit that attaches to the reef, provide food for flatfish, sea bass and cod
- Per acre, kelp forests can take up to 20x more CO2 from the atmosphere than land-based forests
- 96% of kelp has disappeared from the Sussex coastline since 1987!
- Currently, Britain’s underwater kelp forests cover nearly 26,000 square miles of the ocean floor; more than double the number of miles covered by woodland found ashore.
- Kelp forests are some of the most productive habitats on Earth.
The marine environment impacts every single living organism on the planet, but our oceans and the biosphere are at serious risk. Sadly, the wildlife associated with the depleting kelp forests on the Sussex coast has all but disappeared, and the vital ecosystem services it provided have been lost – but there is now a chance to bring it all back. You can make a difference.
Help us pioneer the first kelp restoration project in the UK by signing up to a 5K, 10K or Half Marathon. Your help will directly contribute to mitigate against climate change and build resilient ecosystems in our oceans.
For more information on The Blue Marine Foundation check out their website and projects here.
Have a look at our other blog posts on the projects Onetrack1000 will be directly supporting: