For the past decade BEACON has been the Lead Agency in delivering an innovative project to demonstrate a method to re-establish kelp in Goleta Bay. The method was developed by Mr. Bob Kiel of the Seattle Aquarium and requires the insertion of three-foot long (2-inch square) granite columns that are water-jetted into the sandy seabed of Goleta Bay. Four to six inches of the top of the columns protrude providing an immovable and environmentally benign “toe-hold” for kelp spores to attach. The re-establishment of a kelp bed in Goleta Bay is considered an environmental benefit to marine life as well as a recreational opportunity and is consistent with BEACON’s mission.
The scope of the original project consisted of approximately 200 kelp anchors to be installed. BEACON secured permits from the California Coastal Commission and US Army Corps of Engineers for the project, as well as, a State Lands Commission Lease. In 2015, the BEACON Board authorized the project to proceed into the construction (installation) phase. By October 2016, 200 Kelp Anchors had been installed into the seabed of Goleta Bay and the project had shown success in securing new kelp growth. Since that time, the kelp anchor design has evolved with the inclusion of a habitat pace for octopi, in order to mitigate kelp-eating invertebrates.
The Beacon Board of Directors approved entering into a lease renewal with the California State Lands Commission (SLC) in 2023, beacon stsff prepared the draft Lease Renewal and the SLC staff is currently processing the Beacon request. The next important step due the project will be completing a scientific peer review if the project to support expansion of the project scope and footprint in Goleta Bay. Beacon is committed to the continuation of the project and is eager to complete the 5- year lease renewal with the SLC.
BEACON Previous News and Postings:
Goleta Bay Kelp Restoration Project – May 12, 2019
Goleta Bay Kelp Study – March 27, 2019