Kelp is important both in the ocean and on the beach!
Kelp grows in the shallow rocky reefs off the Santa Barbara coast and throughout central and northern California. Like a rain forest, kelp forests provide food and habitat for a rich diversity of algae, invertebrates, fishes, birds, and marine mammals, many of which are ecologically and economically important. Giant kelp is also of great commercial value, with thousands of tons harvested annually in California and elsewhere in the world for food, soaps, pharmaceuticals and other products.
Wrack provides an important ecological link between the land and the sea. Plants and seaweed cannot grow in the unstable, wave-washed sand of the beach, so beach animals rely largely upon sources of food, like wrack, that drift onto shore. Wrack feeds many creatures that live on and in the sand, and these creatures in turn provide a food source for other animals such as birds.