The Kelp Conservation Initiative is one of The Dixon Foundation’s new partners.  We were delighted to be able to support them with their work locally as part of the UK Kelp Restoration Project.  The project aims to develop a low-cost, scalable, and practical solution to future-proof kelp beds against climate stresses. 

Working with the Marine Biological Association (MBA) in Plymouth, the Initiative hopes to progress the ‘green gravel’ kelp restoration tool to protect and restore Devon’s depleted or at-risk native kelp species. The ‘green gravel’ is the name given to the discarded scallop shells used as the substrate from which the kelp will grow on.

Kelp provides huge benefits to our oceans’ ecosystem: spawning and nursery grounds and habitats for many species, food for marine life, a natural coastal defence, as well as act as a carbon conveyor (drawing down carbon faster than many land plants).

The scientists on the project will perform laboratory tests to culture and grow six species of kelp using the ‘green gravel’ method. Juvenile kelp will then be transplanted to various intertidal locations across Devon.  The team will then monitor the survival of the kelp and explore new strategies to increase the survival and scale up the restoration process.