Kelp is an important type of flora that acts as a main part of
the oceans ecosystem. It is abundant in waters surrounding the
Cal Poly pier at Avila and will be an important resource for future
Giant kelp anchors itself to the ocean floor by way of a holdfast,
a clump of branching, pencil-size strands that cling to the substrate.
The long, stem-like structure that extends from the holdfast is
called the stripe. Branching out from the stripe are blades –
broad, flat structures that look like the leaves of vascular land
plants.Giant kelp is the largest and fastest growing marine plant
in the world. Under ideal conditions it can grow as much as 12
to 18 inches per day.
Kelp not only acts as a marine refuge, it also provides food and
security for a wealth of marine life. Fish feed off of it. Invertebrates
abound in kelp beds. And California sea otters often wrap kelp
around themselves and their young to keep from drifting.
Giant kelp is an important, renewable, natural resource that benefits
humans in many ways. Some of the typical products that use kelp
ingredients are: ice cream, puddings, milk shakes, pie fillings,
salad dressings, fruit drinks, beer, frozen foods, antacid compounds,
cosmetics, paper, paint, and car polish.