Project Description

It’s amazing how fast bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) can grow, sometimes up to 10 inches (25.4 cm) per day!  As a diver below looking upward it can be an awe-inspiring sight to witness sunlight streaming through the kelp forest canopy above.

Bull kelp is an annual seaweed.  It grows from a spore to full maturity in a single year.  At the base of the kelp is a holdfast that attaches to the rocks below.   From here a flexible stem shoots upward to the surface and is supported by a gas filled float.  Many long golden fronds grow from this float making a large canopy near the surface of the ocean.   This seaweed can grow to 118 feet (36 m) long.  Its range is from northern Alaska to southern California.