Giant Kelp Forest

Explore a Forest Under the Ocean

Our two-story, 70,000-gallon, Giant Kelp Exhibit immerses guests into the world of this amazing underwater forest ecosystem.

Kelp Forests are plentiful in San Diego’s waters and are home to a huge diversity of species. Guests will come face to face with locals such as Leopard Sharks, Moray Eels, an endangered Giant Black Sea Bass, and more — no dive gear necessary! 

Be sure to check out one of our Kelp Exhibit Dive Shows where divers feed our kelp tank creatures and answer guest questions.


Giant Kelp Tank

Did you know?

  • Giant Kelp is one of the fastest growing organisms on Earth. When there is plenty of sunlight and nutrients in the water, this brown algae can grow 3 feet in one day! 
  • Hold on tight! Giant Kelp is found in cold water where there are rocks on the seafloor. Kelp uses a structure called a holdfast — don’t mistake it for roots — to securely grip the rocks. These holdfasts are strong, anchoring kelp that can grow to more than 100 feet tall. 
  • What is that orange fish? Garibaldi are California’s bright orange State Marine Fish. Their orange coloration is a warning to predators that says, “Don’t eat me! I taste terrible and I’m aggressive!”

Interested in supporting exhibits at Birch Aquarium?  Contact us!