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SoCal Edison Makes Its Own Kelp Reef Off San Clemente

A few years ago, Southern California Edison was on the hook to offset some of the harm done to marine life near its San Onofre power plant, so it made an artifical reef off San Clemente. The company spent $39 million, dropping basketball-sized rocks quarried from Catalina into the ocean to create the 174 acre Wheeler North Reef. Lucky for them, kelp-growing conditions have been top notch over the last couple years--"the greatest giant kelp resurgence in decades," according to the LA Times. There was "a full-blown kelp forest canopy" in place by year two, according to a UC Santa Barbara scientist who's monitoring the project, and divers have found fish, sea stars, crabs, and snails making their homes in the kelp. Now the reef just has to keep it together through violent storms, too-warm water, and other threatening environmental conditions.

· Man-made rock reef is part of a welcome seaweed change [LAT]