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This annual kelp grows on rocks in high currant areas. Kelp forests are important ecosystems wherever they occur and are very dynamic.They can disappear and reappear based on the oceanographic conditions and the population sizes of their primary herbivores.
Extending out from the shore at Rosario Beach (Deception Pass). Kelp thrives in cold, nutrient-rich waters. Because kelp attaches to the seafloor and eventually grows to the water’s surface and relies on sunlight to generate food and energy, kelp forests are always coastal and require shallow, relatively clear water. kelp forests provide important three-dimensional, underwater habitat that is home to hundreds or thousands of species of invertebrates, fishes, and other algae. Some species aggregate and spawn in kelp forests or utilize these areas as juvenile nursery habitat. Large predatory species of sharks and marine mammals are known to hunt in the long corridors that form in kelp forests between rows of individual plants.