Feedbacks Between Coastal New England Kelp Beds and Wave Disturbance

Climate models predict an increased frequency of large wave heights worldwide, with impacts on near-shore ecosystems. We will design and build a low-cost wave sensor for widespread deployment in sub-tidal surveys to examine the consequences of wave action on kelp demography and the dampening effect of kelp abundance on wave disturbance. These data will be used to provide models of wave-kelp interactions in various scenarios, and we will develop an online tool to enable broad stakeholder understanding of these effects in their own areas. An educational component will include workshops and outreach to high school students and teachers on building and deploying temperature sensors and wave sensors and analyzing the results.