If you know anything about our new fishing policies in Laguna Beach, you know that Laguna loves its kelp forests. In fact, we even celebrate our Kelp with an annual KelpFest, an Earth Day festival celebration that has mushroomed like … well, like a well-fed kelp forest.
Each year I write about the KelpFest, and each year it gets bigger and busier. The activities kick off at Main Beach in Laguna Beach this Saturday, April 20th, at 9:00 a.m., with free live music beginning at 11:00.
Before I get to the amazing guest artists for the live music, let’s do a quick review on WHY we have a KelpFest and everything involved in the day’s activities.
“Rainforests of the seas”
Kelp is one of the most productive ecosystems on earth; when they struggle, all sorts of critters, ocean plant life and the water itself begins to struggle. While often referred to as the “rainforest of the seas,” kelp forests can replenish fairly easily even after considerable decimation (Healthy kelp grows an average 2 feet a day!) So, when our kelp forests began to disappear along the coastline, Marine Biologist Nancy Caruso and a handful of volunteers launched into action in 2002 to fight for the kelp. Now, with thousands of volunteers and laws actually enacted, this is, indeed, a major celebration.
This is a cool ocean education festival for people of all ages
The folks construct a kelp forest on land and provide docents to help educate folks on the importance of kelp. More docents provide free tidepool tours, and paddle board tours of the actual kelp forests are provided for the more adventurous. There are great arts and crafts for kids, inventive cooking demonstrations, and even a handy mermaid will be hanging out to answer your most pressing ocean questions.
And then, of course, there’s the live music at KelpFest
Quite probably our two most beloved bands in Laguna Beach, Nick I and ADD AND World Anthem will be taking to the Main Beach stage. Personally, I’d sit all day at Main Beach just for this rare double header. And, Salty Suites, a down-home, toe-tappin’, banjo kind of crew will be joining the KelpFest for the first time, too.
Get down to Main Beach early, and bring your supply of quarters. (Don’t forget your sunscreen – it’s supposed to be in the 80s Saturday!) I’ll see you down there. (For more info, go to KelpFest.org)