Kelp Drivers of Change (WG3)

Kelp Drivers of Change (WG3)
Kelp crab on a bull kelp bulb.


Our goal is to document, compile, synthesize, and analyze the multiple ecological and environmental drivers of change in kelps in the transboundary waters of British Columbia and Washington State. Ultimately, we aim to understand the impacts of cumulative stress factors on kelp health and distribution at local and regional scales, to guide actions and management towards reducing stressor impacts. 

Specific Goals are to:

  1. Identify and summarize existing knowledge and expertise as well as knowledge gaps regarding ecological and environmental drivers of change in kelps.

    1a) Improve organization and access to kelp driver/stressor metadata and data.

  2. Synthesize, analyze and report back on cumulative stress factors at local and regional scales in BC & WA.

  3. Develop a ‘Dream Project’ that might result in a grant proposal

  4. Use the knowledge gained from #1-3 to develop a process for providing actionable guidance to inform management and policy actions to reduce kelp stressors.

Priority actions & deliverables

These objectives and deliverables were mapped out by the group in the first WG1 meeting. They are a work-in-progress and will continue to be refined.

  1. Identify and collate existing knowledge of kelp stressors at local and regional scales.

    1a) Identify the most important kelp stressors based on expert knowledge.

    1b) Identify what we do or don’t know, where/who the experts are and limitations.

    1c) Create an evolving georeferenced database (spreadsheet, initially) of kelp stressors data that records which groups are collecting data (where, what scale), provides a contact person (data manager), and moderates accessibility as needed to respect confidentiality.

  2. Assess impacts by mapping out cumulative stressor intensity at local and regional scales.

    2a) Report on impacts through a paper and/or report cards.

  3. Develop a funding application of a ‘Dream Project’ (e.g., an expedition or comparative-experimental project to measure local kelp drivers)

  4. Co-design plans to reduce kelp stressors with policy/management groups in priority areas.

    4a) Identify priority areas for action based on high cumulative stressor intensity.

    4b) Prioritize which stressors we should and can reduce.

Kelp Drivers of Change (WG3)
Sea urchins grazing on kelp stipes.


  • Jasmin Schuster, University of Victoria and Hakai Institute (CAN)

  • Romina Barbosa, University of Victoria and the Kelp Rescue Initiative (CAN)

  • Megan Dethier, University of Washington, Friday Harbour Labs (USA)

Updates & News

Revisit previous meetings (link to Meeting Recordings and Meeting Notes)

Working Group Materials

Access WG3 materials here (link to shared drive)

How to join

Register for Working Group 3 here