Bell Tom W.

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Tom W.

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  • Article
    Automated satellite remote sensing of giant kelp at the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
    (Public Library of Science, 2022-01-06) Houskeeper, Henry F. ; Rosenthal, Isaac S. ; Cavanaugh, Katherine C. ; Pawlak, Camille ; Trouille, Laura ; Byrnes, Jarrett E. K. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Cavanaugh, Kyle C.
    Giant kelp populations that support productive and diverse coastal ecosystems at temperate and subpolar latitudes of both hemispheres are vulnerable to changing climate conditions as well as direct human impacts. Observations of giant kelp forests are spatially and temporally uneven, with disproportionate coverage in the northern hemisphere, despite the size and comparable density of southern hemisphere kelp forests. Satellite imagery enables the mapping of existing and historical giant kelp populations in understudied regions, but automating the detection of giant kelp using satellite imagery requires approaches that are robust to the optical complexity of the shallow, nearshore environment. We present and compare two approaches for automating the detection of giant kelp in satellite datasets: one based on crowd sourcing of satellite imagery classifications and another based on a decision tree paired with a spectral unmixing algorithm (automated using Google Earth Engine). Both approaches are applied to satellite imagery (Landsat) of the Falkland Islands or Islas Malvinas (FLK), an archipelago in the southern Atlantic Ocean that supports expansive giant kelp ecosystems. The performance of each method is evaluated by comparing the automated classifications with a subset of expert-annotated imagery (8 images spanning the majority of our continuous timeseries, cumulatively covering over 2,700 km of coastline, and including all relevant sensors). Using the remote sensing approaches evaluated herein, we present the first continuous timeseries of giant kelp observations in the FLK region using Landsat imagery spanning over three decades. We do not detect evidence of long-term change in the FLK region, although we observe a recent decline in total canopy area from 2017–2021. Using a nitrate model based on nearby ocean state measurements obtained from ships and incorporating satellite sea surface temperature products, we find that the area of giant kelp forests in the FLK region is positively correlated with the nitrate content observed during the prior year. Our results indicate that giant kelp classifications using citizen science are approximately consistent with classifications based on a state-of-the-art automated spectral approach. Despite differences in accuracy and sensitivity, both approaches find high interannual variability that impedes the detection of potential long-term changes in giant kelp canopy area, although recent canopy area declines are notable and should continue to be monitored carefully.
  • Article
    Satellite remote sensing and the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network: current science and future steps
    (Oceanography Society, 2021-11-09) Kavanaugh, Maria T. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Catlett, Dylan ; Cimino, Megan A. ; Doney, Scott C. ; Klajbor, Willem ; Messie, Monique ; Montes, Enrique ; Muller-Karger, Frank E. ; Otis, Daniel ; Santora, Jarrod A ; Schroeder, Isaac D. ; Trinanes, Joaquin ; Siegel, David A.
    Coastal ecosystems are rapidly changing due to human-caused global warming, rising sea level, changing circulation patterns, sea ice loss, and acidification that in turn alter the productivity and composition of marine biological communities. In addition, regional pressures associated with growing human populations and economies result in changes in infrastructure, land use, and other development; greater extraction of fisheries and other natural resources; alteration of benthic seascapes; increased pollution; and eutrophication. Understanding biodiversity is fundamental to assessing and managing human activities that sustain ecosystem health and services and mitigate humankind’s indiscretions. Remote-sensing observations provide rapid and synoptic data for assessing biophysical interactions at multiple spatial and temporal scales and thus are useful for monitoring biodiversity in critical coastal zones. However, many challenges remain because of complex bio-optical signals, poor signal retrieval, and suboptimal algorithms. Here, we highlight four approaches in remote sensing that complement the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON). MBON observations help quantify plankton community composition, foundation species, and unique species habitat relationships, as well as inform species distribution models. In concert with in situ observations across multiple platforms, these efforts contribute to monitoring biodiversity changes in complex coastal regions by providing oceanographic context, contributing to algorithm and indicator development, and creating linkages between long-term ecological studies, the next generations of satellite sensors, and marine ecosystem management.
  • Article
    Influence of kelp forest biomass on nearshore currents
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-06-24) Monismith, Stephen G. ; Alnajjar, Maha W. ; Woodson, Clifton Brock ; Boch, Charles A. ; Hernandez, Arturo ; Vazquez-Vera, Leonardo ; Bell, Tom W. ; Micheli, Fiorenza
    As part of a project focused on the coastal fisheries of Isla Natividad, an island on the Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico, we conducted a 2-1/2 year study of flows at two sites within the island's kelp forests. At one site (Punta Prieta), currents are tidal, whereas at the other site (Morro Prieto), currents are weaker and may be more strongly influenced by wind forcing. Satellite estimates of the biomass of the giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) for this period varied between 0 (no kelp) and 3 kg/m2 (dense kelp forest), including a period in which kelp entirely was absent as a result of the 2014–2015 “Warm Blob” in the Eastern Pacific. During this natural “deforestation experiment”, alongshore velocities at both sites when kelp was present were substantially weaker than when kelp was absent, with low-frequency alongshore currents attenuated more than higher frequency ones, behavior that was the same at both sites despite differences in forcing. The attenuation of cross-shore flows by kelp was less than alongshore flows; thus, residence times for water inside the kelp forest, which are primarily determined by cross-shore velocities, were only weakly affected by the presence or absence of kelp. The flow changes we observed in response to changes in kelp density are important to the biogeochemical functioning of the kelp forest in that slower flows imply longer residence times, and, are also ecologically relevant in that reduced tidal excursions may lead to more localized recruitment of planktonic larvae.
  • Article
    Tail-dependent spatial synchrony arises from nonlinear driver-response relationships
    (Wiley, 2022-03-04) Walter, Jonathan A. ; Castorani, Max C. N. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Sheppard, Lawrence W. ; Cavanaugh, Kyle C. ; Reuman, Daniel C.
    Spatial synchrony may be tail-dependent, that is, stronger when populations are abundant than scarce, or vice-versa. Here, ‘tail-dependent’ follows from distributions having a lower tail consisting of relatively low values and an upper tail of relatively high values. We present a general theory of how the distribution and correlation structure of an environmental driver translates into tail-dependent spatial synchrony through a non-linear response, and examine empirical evidence for theoretical predictions in giant kelp along the California coastline. In sheltered areas, kelp declines synchronously (lower-tail dependence) when waves are relatively intense, because waves below a certain height do little damage to kelp. Conversely, in exposed areas, kelp is synchronised primarily by periods of calmness that cause shared recovery (upper-tail dependence). We find evidence for geographies of tail dependence in synchrony, which helps structure regional population resilience: areas where population declines are asynchronous may be more resilient to disturbance because remnant populations facilitate reestablishment.
  • Article
    Nutrient availability and senescence spatially structure the dynamics of a foundation species
    (National Academy of Sciences, 2021-12-30) Bell, Tom W. ; Siegel, David A.
    Disentangling the roles of the external environment and internal biotic drivers of plant population dynamics is challenging due to the absence of relevant physiological and abundance information over appropriate space and time scales. Remote observations of giant kelp biomass and photosynthetic pigment concentrations are used to show that spatiotemporal patterns of physiological condition, and thus growth and production, are regulated by different processes depending on the scale of observation. Nutrient supply was linked to regional scale (>1 km) physiological condition dynamics, and kelp forest stands were more persistent where nutrient levels were consistently high. However, on local scales (<1 km), internal senescence processes related to canopy age demographics determined patterns of biomass loss across individual kelp forests despite uniform nutrient conditions. Repeat measurements of physiology over continuous spatial fields can provide insights into complex dynamics that are unexplained by the environmental drivers thought to regulate abundance. Emerging remote sensing technologies that provide simultaneous estimates of abundance and physiology can quantify the roles of environmental change and demographics governing plant population dynamics for a wide range of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
  • Article
    Heterogeneous Changes to Wetlands in the Canadian Prairies Under Future Climate
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-06-21) Zhang, Zhe ; Bortolotti, Lauren ; Li, Zhenhua ; Armstrong, Llwellyn ; Bell, Tom W. ; Li, Yanping
    Numerous wetlands in the prairies of Canada provide important ecosystem services, yet are threatened by climate and land-use changes. Understanding the impacts of climate change on prairie wetlands is critical to effective conservation planning. In this study, we construct a wetland model with surface water balance and ecoregions to project future distribution of wetlands. The climatic conditions downscaled from the Weather Research and Forecasting model were used to drive the Noah-MP land surface model to obtain surface water balance. The climate change perturbation is derived from an ensemble of general circulation models using the pseudo global warming method, under the RCP8.5 emission scenario by the end of 21st century. The results show that climate change impacts on wetland extent are spatiotemporally heterogenous. Future wetter climate in the western Prairies will favor increased wetland abundance in both spring and summer. In the eastern Prairies, particularly in the mixed grassland and mid-boreal upland, wetland areas will increase in spring but experience enhanced declines in summer due to strong evapotranspiration. When these effects of climate change are considered in light of historical drainage, they suggest a need for diverse conservation and restoration strategies. For the mixed grassland in the western Canadian Prairies, wetland restoration will be favorable, while the highly drained eastern Prairies will be challenged by the intensified hydrological cycle. The outcomes of this study will be useful to conservation agencies to ensure that current investments will continue to provide good conservation returns in the future.
  • Article
    Using unoccupied aerial vehicles to map and monitor changes in emergent kelp canopy after an ecological regime shift
    (Wiley Open Access, 2022-09-21) Saccomanno, Vienna R. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Pawlak, Camille ; Stanley, Charlotte K. ; Cavanaugh, Katherine C. ; Hohman, Rietta ; Klausmeyer, Kirk R. ; Cavanaugh, Kyle ; Nickels, Abby ; Hewerdine, Waz ; Garza, Corey ; Fleener, Gary ; Gleason, Mary
    Kelp forests are complex underwater habitats that form the foundation of many nearshore marine environments and provide valuable services for coastal communities. Despite their ecological and economic importance, increasingly severe stressors have resulted in declines in kelp abundance in many regions over the past few decades, including the North Coast of California, USA. Given the significant and sustained loss of kelp in this region, management intervention is likely a necessary tool to reset the ecosystem and geospatial data on kelp dynamics are needed to strategically implement restoration projects. Because canopy‐forming kelp forests are distinguishable in aerial imagery, remote sensing is an important tool for documenting changes in canopy area and abundance to meet these data needs. We used small unoccupied aerial vehicles (UAVs) to survey emergent kelp canopy in priority sites along the North Coast in 2019 and 2020 to fill a key data gap for kelp restoration practitioners working at local scales. With over 4,300 hectares surveyed between 2019 and 2020, these surveys represent the two largest marine resource‐focused UAV surveys conducted in California to our knowledge. We present remote sensing methods using UAVs and a repeatable workflow for conducting consistent surveys, creating orthomosaics, georeferencing data, classifying emergent kelp and creating kelp canopy maps that can be used to assess trends in kelp canopy dynamics over space and time. We illustrate the impacts of spatial resolution on emergent kelp canopy classification between different sensors to help practitioners decide which data stream to select when asking restoration and management questions at varying spatial scales. Our results suggest that high spatial resolution data of emergent kelp canopy from UAVs have the potential to advance strategic kelp restoration and adaptive management.Despite their ecological and economic importance, kelp forest abundance has declined in many regions around the world including the North Coast of California. Given the significant loss of kelp in this region, management intervention is likely necessary and remotely sensed data on kelp dynamics can help inform strategic restoration projects. We used unoccupied aerial vehicles (UAVs) to survey emergent kelp canopy along the North Coast in 2019 and 2020 and present remote‐sensing based kelp survey methods using UAVs. Our results suggest that high spatial resolution data on local‐scale spatiotemporal patterns of emergent kelp canopy from UAVs have the potential to advance strategic kelp restoration and adaptive management.
  • Article
    A review of the opportunities and challenges for using remote sensing for management of surface-canopy forming kelps
    (Frontiers Media, 2021-10-20) Cavanaugh, Kyle C. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Costa, Maycira ; Eddy, Norah E. ; Gendall, Lianna ; Gleason, Mary G. ; Hessing-Lewis, Margot ; Martone, Rebecca ; McPherson, Meredith L. ; Pontier, Ondine ; Reshitnyk, Luba ; Beas-Luna, Rodrigo ; Carr, Mark H. ; Caselle, Jennifer E. ; Cavanaugh, Katherine C. ; Flores Miller, Rebecca ; Hamilton, Sara L. ; Heady, Walter N. ; Hirsh, Heidi K. ; Hohman, Rietta ; Lee, Lynn Chi ; Lorda, Julio ; Ray, James ; Reed, Daniel C. ; Saccomanno, Vienna R. ; Schroeder, Sarah B.
    Surface-canopy forming kelps provide the foundation for ecosystems that are ecologically, culturally, and economically important. However, these kelp forests are naturally dynamic systems that are also threatened by a range of global and local pressures. As a result, there is a need for tools that enable managers to reliably track changes in their distribution, abundance, and health in a timely manner. Remote sensing data availability has increased dramatically in recent years and this data represents a valuable tool for monitoring surface-canopy forming kelps. However, the choice of remote sensing data and analytic approach must be properly matched to management objectives and tailored to the physical and biological characteristics of the region of interest. This review identifies remote sensing datasets and analyses best suited to address different management needs and environmental settings using case studies from the west coast of North America. We highlight the importance of integrating different datasets and approaches to facilitate comparisons across regions and promote coordination of management strategies.
  • Article
    Disturbance and nutrients synchronise kelp forests across scales through interacting Moran effects
    (Wiley, 2022-06-30) Castorani, Max C. N. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Walter, Jonathan A. ; Reuman, Daniel C. ; Cavanaugh, Kyle C. ; Sheppard, Lawrence W.
    Spatial synchrony is a ubiquitous and important feature of population dynamics, but many aspects of this phenomenon are not well understood. In particular, it is largely unknown how multiple environmental drivers interact to determine synchrony via Moran effects, and how these impacts vary across spatial and temporal scales. Using new wavelet statistical techniques, we characterised synchrony in populations of giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera, a widely distributed marine foundation species, and related synchrony to variation in oceanographic conditions across 33 years (1987–2019) and >900 km of coastline in California, USA. We discovered that disturbance (storm-driven waves) and resources (seawater nutrients)—underpinned by climatic variability—act individually and interactively to produce synchrony in giant kelp across geography and timescales. Our findings demonstrate that understanding and predicting synchrony, and thus the regional stability of populations, relies on resolving the synergistic and antagonistic Moran effects of multiple environmental drivers acting on different timescales.
  • Article
    Assessing the sequestration time scales of some ocean-based carbon dioxide reduction strategies
    (IOP Publishing, 2021-09-24) Bell, Tom W.
    Ocean-based carbon dioxide (CO2) removal (CDR) strategies are an important part of the portfolio of approaches needed to achieve negative greenhouse gas emissions. Many ocean-based CDR strategies rely on injecting CO2 or organic carbon (that will eventually become CO2) into the ocean interior, or enhancing the ocean's biological pump. These approaches will not result in permanent sequestration, because ocean currents will eventually return the injected CO2 back to the surface, where it will be brought into equilibrium with the atmosphere. Here, a model of steady state global ocean circulation and mixing is used to assess the time scales over which CO2 injected in the ocean interior remains sequestered from the atmosphere. There will be a distribution of sequestration times for any single discharge location due to the infinite number of pathways connecting a location at depth with the sea surface. The resulting probability distribution is highly skewed with a long tail of very long transit times, making mean sequestration times much longer than typical time scales. Deeper discharge locations will sequester purposefully injected CO2 much longer than shallower ones and median sequestration times are typically decades to centuries, and approach 1000 years in the deep North Pacific. Large differences in sequestration times occur both within and between the major ocean basins, with the Pacific and Indian basins generally having longer sequestration times than the Atlantic and Southern Oceans. Assessments made over a 50 year time horizon illustrates that most of the injected carbon will be retained for injection depths greater than 1000 m, with several geographic exceptions such as the Western North Atlantic. Ocean CDR strategies that increase upper ocean ecosystem productivity with the goal of exporting more carbon to depth will have mainly a short-term influence on atmospheric CO2 levels because ∼70% will be transported back to the surface ocean within 50 years. The results presented here will help plan appropriate ocean CDR strategies that can help limit climate damage caused by fossil fuel CO2 emissions.
  • Article
    Large-scale shift in the structure of a kelp forest ecosystem co-occurs with an epizootic and marine heatwave
    (Nature Research, 2021-03-05) McPherson, Meredith L. ; Finger, Dennis J. I. ; Houskeeper, Henry F. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Carr, Mark H. ; Rogers-Bennett, Laura ; Kudela, Raphael M.
    Climate change is responsible for increased frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme events, such as marine heatwaves (MHWs). Within eastern boundary current systems, MHWs have profound impacts on temperature-nutrient dynamics that drive primary productivity. Bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) forests, a vital nearshore habitat, experienced unprecedented losses along 350 km of coastline in northern California beginning in 2014 and continuing through 2019. These losses have had devastating consequences to northern California communities, economies, and fisheries. Using a suite of in situ and satellite-derived data, we demonstrate that the abrupt ecosystem shift initiated by a multi-year MHW was preceded by declines in keystone predator population densities. We show strong evidence that northern California kelp forests, while temporally dynamic, were historically resilient to fluctuating environmental conditions, even in the absence of key top predators, but that a series of coupled environmental and biological shifts between 2014 and 2016 resulted in the formation of a persistent, altered ecosystem state with low primary productivity. Based on our findings, we recommend the implementation of ecosystem-based and adaptive management strategies, such as (1) monitoring the status of key ecosystem attributes: kelp distribution and abundance, and densities of sea urchins and their predators, (2) developing management responses to threshold levels of these attributes, and (3) creating quantitative restoration suitability indices for informing kelp restoration efforts.
  • Article
    CubeSats show persistence of bull kelp refugia amidst a regional collapse in California
    (Elsevier, 2023-03-11) Cavanaugh, Katherine C. ; Cavanaugh, Kyle C. ; Pawlak, Camille C. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Saccomanno, Vienna R.
    Bull kelp populations in northern California declined drastically in response to the 2014–2016 marine heatwave, sea star wasting disease, and subsequently large increases in herbivorous purple urchin populations. Despite the regional kelp forest collapse, there were small, remnant populations where bull kelp was able to survive. Moderate resolution satellites (i.e., Landsat) have been important for creating long-term, large-scale time series of bull kelp forests, however, these have been shown to underestimate or entirely exclude refugia due to their low densities and proximity to the coastline. While measurements from Unoccupied Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are spatially detailed, they are temporally limited and difficult to collect over regional scales. The development of CubeSat constellations has enabled a workaround for these tradeoffs, with global imagery available near-daily at meter-scale.We developed a method for mapping bull kelp canopy across the different sensor cohorts in the PlanetScope constellation. This required correcting surface reflectance measurements to account for differences in the spectral response functions among the sensors and leveraging the temporal frequency of PlanetScope data to increase the automation of classifying kelp canopy in imagery with increased noise. Using the PlanetScope derived kelp canopy extents, we identified locations where bull kelp refugia have persisted in northern California. We found that bull kelp refugia occupied about 2% of the total available habitat in the region and about 9.4% of the average canopy area observed prior to 2014. These areas may be critical to the success of kelp forest re-establishment in northern California, which increases their importance for ongoing monitoring, conservation, and restoration efforts.•Developed the first bull kelp canopy time series from high resolution CubeSat data.•CubeSats can effectively detect kelp canopy at low population abundance and density.•Refugia persisted during historically low kelp abundance in northern California.
  • Article
    Kelpwatch: a new visualization and analysis tool to explore kelp canopy dynamics reveals variable response to and recovery from marine heatwaves
    (Public Library of Science, 2023-03-23) Bell, Tom W. ; Cavanaugh, Kyle C. ; Saccomanno, Vienna R. ; Cavanaugh, Katherine C. ; Houskeeper, Henry F. ; Eddy, Norah ; Schuetzenmeister, Falk ; Rindlaub, Nathaniel ; Gleason, Mary
    Giant kelp and bull kelp forests are increasingly at risk from marine heatwave events, herbivore outbreaks, and the loss or alterations in the behavior of key herbivore predators. The dynamic floating canopy of these kelps is well-suited to study via satellite imagery, which provides high temporal and spatial resolution data of floating kelp canopy across the western United States and Mexico. However, the size and complexity of the satellite image dataset has made ecological analysis difficult for scientists and managers. To increase accessibility of this rich dataset, we created Kelpwatch, a web-based visualization and analysis tool. This tool allows researchers and managers to quantify kelp forest change in response to disturbances, assess historical trends, and allow for effective and actionable kelp forest management. Here, we demonstrate how Kelpwatch can be used to analyze long-term trends in kelp canopy across regions, quantify spatial variability in the response to and recovery from the 2014 to 2016 marine heatwave events, and provide a local analysis of kelp canopy status around the Monterey Peninsula, California. We found that 18.6% of regional sites displayed a significant trend in kelp canopy area over the past 38 years and that there was a latitudinal response to heatwave events for each kelp species. The recovery from heatwave events was more variable across space, with some local areas like Bahía Tortugas in Baja California Sur showing high recovery while kelp canopies around the Monterey Peninsula continued a slow decline and patchy recovery compared to the rest of the Central California region. Kelpwatch provides near real time spatial data and analysis support and makes complex earth observation data actionable for scientists and managers, which can help identify areas for research, monitoring, and management efforts.
  • Article
    Shortfalls in the protection of persistent bull kelp forests in the USA
    (Elsevier, 2023-06-03) Arafeh-Dalmau, Nur ; Olguín-Jacobson, Carolina ; Bell, Tom W. ; Micheli, Fiorenza ; Cavanaugh, Kyle C.
    Kelp forests are one of the most productive ecosystems on earth, providing critical ecosystem services. Despite their global importance, their persistence in the face of human pressure and climate change is uncertain. We present a 38-year quarterly time series of satellite imagery that maps the distribution and persistence of surface canopy-forming kelp (dominated by the bull kelp, Nereocystis leutkeana) forests along eleven degrees of latitude in the western Pacific of the USA. We estimate kelp persistence as the fraction of years occupied by kelp canopy in the time series and evaluate the representation of kelp in marine protected areas (MPAs). While 3.6 % of kelp habitat is fully protected and 10.1 % is partially protected, only 0.7 % of the highly persistent kelp which may be indicative of climate refugia are fully protected. Regionally, the amount of kelp fully protected inside MPAs decreases from Central Northern California (8.0 %) to Oregon (5.9 %), Northern California (1.7 %), and Washington (0 %). Five years after the 2014–2016 marine heatwaves, kelp forests did not recover in California (∼90 % loss for both regions), while Oregon and Washington remained near pre-heatwave values. The low amount of protection in Northern California is concerning and likely exacerbates the vulnerability of kelp and associated species to marine heatwaves. Meeting a target of protecting 10 % of existing kelp habitat will require a 2.5-fold increase in kelp representation in MPAs. Moreover, we propose protecting highly persistent kelp is a cost-effective approach to increase representation and efficacy of MPAs to support climate resilience of kelp forest ecosystems.
  • Other
    Kelp Report Card 2022
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2024-06-01) Bell, Tom W. ; Saccomanno, Vienna R.
    The Kelp Report Card is an annual, data-driven evaluation of kelp canopy dynamics in the Northeast Pacific relative to historical trends. This analysis spans the West Coast of the United States through Baja California, Mexico and mobilizes nearly 40 years of Landsat satellite-derived kelp canopy data to provide a summary of 2022 trends in kelp canopy to inform strategic conservation, restoration, management, and research of this important natural resource and ecosystem. The data underlying this report card are publicly available in interactive format on
  • Other
    Kelp Report Card 2023
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2024-06-05) Bell, Tom W. ; Saccomanno, Vienna R.
    The Kelp Report Card is an annual, data-driven evaluation of kelp canopy dynamics in the Northeast Pacific relative to historical trends. This analysis spans the West Coast of the United States through Baja California, Mexico and mobilizes 40 years of Landsat satellite-derived kelp canopy data (Bell et al. 2024) to provide a summary of 2023 trends in kelp canopy to inform strategic conservation, restoration, management, and research of this important natural resource and ecosystem. The data underlying this report card are publicly available in interactive format on