Feeding hope and resilience back into kelp forests and the community
Friday June 9, 12-1pm
Salish Sea kelp ecosystems are among the most vital and most threatened ecosystems in Canadian waters. Kelp forests are foundational and provide critical habitat and food for diverse species, including commercially, recreationally, and culturally valuable species such as salmon, rockfish, lingcod, herring, prawns and crab. Kelp provides vital ecosystem services, stabilizing shorelines, filtering water, mitigating storm surges, and capturing large quantities of carbon, helping to mitigate climate change and counteract ocean acidification.
Join Lee-Ann Ennis as she tells her inspiring story of cultivating kelp for fish habitat and restoration projects. With a background studying marine science at UVic, and Bamfield Marine Science Centre, Lee-Ann had picked up experience cultivating red seaweeds for agar, the most common phycocolloid used as gelling agents in the food, biotech and cosmetic industries. Lee-Ann rekindled her passion for seaweed science when she witnessed first hand the disappearance of kelp on the Sunshine Coast. She realized how truly important kelp are as habitat for a wide range of fish and invertebrate species, serving as resting, foraging and essential nursery grounds. It occurred to her that by cultivating kelp, she could actually make a tangible difference for quite a few million fish. Lee-Ann has been busy ever since and will share her story that may inspire the next generation of restoration, feeding hope and resilience back into kelp forests and the community.