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! 

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!