Mounds of Kelp Wash up O.C. Beaches

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

“This is just a sign of how healthy our kelp forest has become. Just 10 years ago, there was almost no kelp on the Orange County coast,” said Ray Hiemstra, associate director of programs for Orange County Coast keeper, who has worked on kelp restoration for 15 years.

Ten years ago, there was no kelp on the beaches of O.C. due to pollution and an overabundance of predators including sea urchins. They have practically killed the kelp forests. During the past decade environmentalists have planted over 5 anchors of kelp forests along the coast of Southern California, reported

According to Nancy Caruso, an independent marine biologist, kelp shoots are already growing back off of the coast of Southern California.

After a recent survey dive, Caruso said, “Right now, it’s growing back, so in an area where there used to be one kelp plant, now there’s 75 and they’re all competing for sunlight,” according to

The kelp smells have people and tourists and everyday beachgoers miffed. What they don’t understand is that the kelp is actually good and is helping the beach, according to Healthy beaches are supposed to have dying and decomposing plants. The kelp actually returns nutrients back into the ecosystem.

“A lot of people were very unhappy because they sometimes travel from around the world to see our beaches, and there was stinky kelp and flies,” said Laguna Beach Public Works Director Steven Man.

“I think they’re leading the charge here,” said Carrie Wilson, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.