Thursday, November 30, 2023
Scuba DivingKelp Conservancy event, La Jolla, California, USA

Kelp Conservancy event, La Jolla, California, USA


Launching of a new watertribe group, the Kelp Conservancy, September 28, 2002 at 9:00 a.m. on the lawn by the La Jolla cove.

The Kelp Conservancy is a new organization dedicated to the appreciation and preservation of our kelp forest along the California coast. It was founded by a San Diego freediver, Jim Cahill (, and a research intern at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Leen Geelen (

It’s mission is to serve as a voice for freedivers, tank divers, and others interested in maintaining an accessible and healthy kelp forest ecosystem capable of sustaining low-impact recreational fishing and sight seeing. Through a program of proactive monitoring of the fishes of the forest, in which KC volunteers work with researchers at Scripps, improved community involvement with the kelp forest and its preservation will be enhanced. KC volunteers will monitor specific areas of the kelp and will perform fish counts on both dedicated counting dives as well as during their routine forays into the kelp. Other events will include education campaigns, kelp cleanups, and joyous celebrations of the kelp forest.

NOW: the first event will be a test of our data collection methods. They have set up Scripps’ buoys in two locations in the kelp bed off Boomers Beach, La Jolla. They have developed prototype collection forms and counting methods which must be tested. The system is being worked out with the total support and guidance of Scripps scientists who are also fishermen and who advocate sustainable harvest methods.

WHEN: Saturday September 28, 2002, meet at 9:00 a.m. on the lawn by La Jolla Cove (between the bathrooms and the lifeguard stand at the cove). Look for the Kelp Forest Conservancy banner. There will be a brief orientation by Jim Cahill and Leen Geelen, and possibly a guest speaker from Scripps. Then, each volunteer will get a form and instructions on data collection, and will be guided to the buoys that are in place in the kelp just off shore. Freedivers will count at one depth, Scuba divers at another. We will then re-group and gather feedback on how the forms worked and how the system could be improved. It will be fun and informative.

SAFETY NOTE: this is for experienced ocean people only. You are on your own here. Please be judicious, humble, and safe.

Water entry will be at the cove or Boomers Beach, depending on conditions. If the swell is up or there are other dangerous conditions or you are not already competent at kelp dives, we do NOT recommend that you proceed.

Stephan Whelan
Stephan Whelan
Stephan is the Founder of His passion for the underwater world started at 8 years old with a try-dive in a hotel pool on holiday that soon formulated into a lifelong love affair with the oceans. In 1996 he set up and has grown the site to be the most popular diving website and community in the world.