Skip to main content

National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Kelp forest restoration is a growing initiative in 21 countries which can improve ecosystem health, rebuild fisheries, renew coastal economies, mitigate climate change, and connect people to the ocean. However, changing oceans and crowded coastlines make it subject to failure. Barriers to success include poor ecological suitability, low ecosystem connectivity, future inhabitability, cultural sensitivities, and conflicts with marine users. Additionally, existing marine policy is often poorly adapted for restoration and can hinder project implementation. There is no framework for kelp restoration site selection, and there is little analysis on modifying marine policy for restoration. This Morpho project will unite leaders in ecology, spatial analysis, and marine policy with community members and rights holders to provide a holistic vision for where and how restoration should happen. This collaboration will create a framework for kelp forest restoration site selection and a policy document integrating marine restoration activities into marine policy. By integrating perspectives into restoration planning and tailoring kelp forest conservation into policy at all levels, this project will ensure better outcomes for ecosystems, Indigenous peoples, coastal communities, and climate resilience. By addressing the challenges and optimizing restoration efforts, the project will maximize the benefits of kelp forest restoration across the globe.

Principal Investigator(s)

Aaron Eger, Jarrett E. Byrnes

Project Dates

Start: October 1, 2023

End: October 31, 2025



Melissa Abderrahim
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Tristin Anoush McHugh
The Nature Conservancy
Nur Arafeh Dalmau
Stanford University
Kataya Barrett
Country Needs People
Alexandra Boutros
University of California Santa Cruz
Jarrett E. Byrnes
University of Massachusetts-Boston
Jennifer E. Caselle
University of California, Santa Barbara
Janaka deSilva
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Loyiso Dunga
Parley for the Oceans
Aaron Eger
University of New South Wales
Anita Giraldo-Ospina
University of California, Santa Barbara
Alejandra Gonzalez
Universidad de Chile
Lynn Lee
Parks Canada
Steve Lonhart
NOAA, National Marine Sanctuary Monterey Bay
Betsy Peabody
Puget Sound Restoration Fund
Mohammed Sedarat
University of California, San Diego
Angelo Villagomez
Center for American Progress