VIDEO: Lincoln Park’s underwater forest

In the 360-degree videos above and below, “Diver Laura” James takes you into the kelp forest off Lincoln Park.

Laura has been doing some informal research on the kelp, which was reported to be far denser along Puget Sound shores decades ago, before various man-made/-caused changes to the shoreline. If you’ve been observing the area – walking, boating, even diving – over the past 20 to 30 years, she would love to hear from you – is the email address.

13 Replies to "VIDEO: Lincoln Park's underwater forest"

  • Just wondering September 3, 2020 (10:24 pm)


  • Allison September 3, 2020 (11:03 pm)

    Just wow.  Loved this – a view I’d not imagined I would ever have of the park’s environs.  

  • AMR September 4, 2020 (1:48 am)

    Fascinating video! I will never look out at the water the same way when walking the path at Lincoln Lark. Also, crabs like to hang out on kelp.. who knew?

  • anonyme September 4, 2020 (7:04 am)

    What I found interesting in the videos was the lack of fish.  On casual viewing, I counted only 5 little ones.  Is this normal?

  • Karen Lyons September 4, 2020 (7:56 am)

    I know this is probably a dumb question, but why aren’t there any fish?

  • Sillygoose September 4, 2020 (9:28 am)

    This is beautiful. In the early 90’s I dove off of Lowman beach every weekend I was so shocked at the garbage mostly tires at the bottom of the bay.  Did you see any of this on your dive?

  • 11epees September 4, 2020 (11:24 am)

    Soothingly cool. 💚  Thank you.

  • DiverLaura September 4, 2020 (12:54 pm)

    Sillygoose,  I did not see any garbage or tires but the bottom substrate is pretty obscured with the big sheets of brown seaweed.   The substrate is now cleanly scoured cobbles with no sandy patches (from previous beach nourishment) Karen, that is part of the mystery… I was also shocked by the lack of fish, i felt like i was Tom Cruise in Times Square  in the film Vanilla Sky (with the square totally empty and devoid of people).   I don’t understand it beyond my hypothesis that for some reason the kelp is returning (improved water quality perhaps from Barton Street / Lowman project?) and it just takes time for the ecosystem to reestablish itself after years of inundation from toxics and too much nutrients and a history of beach nourishment in the area (sand is good for eelgrass but covers the cobbles which provide holdfast for kelp). I’m very interested in reports from the south side of the point As well as historical density in the bay,  I’m trying to figure out when the last time folks saw any beds on the souths side of point.  I have data point from a research paper written 30 years ago, documenting VERY dense kelp in the whole bay. (That was the north bed), and at the time a second bed just south of the the point near the glacial erratics (the big rocks deposited by glaciers).   I have not seen kelp to the south of the point.   The ‘large’ bed documented in the paper seems to have tapered off and has only started to rebound as of about 4 years ago (with the reappearance of kelp in the south end of the bay, but not an actual ‘south’ of point bed).My suspicion is that what we are seeing is a result of humans being less impactful on our environment.   Barton street project got some stormwater toxics  under control,  Ceasing of beach nourishment would improve bottom habitat for kelp, and finally fewer cars on the road spewing fresh toxics in the spring due to covid possibly allowed for more zygotes to survive and thrive.  I truly appreciate all your kind words and also the anecdotal observations!    Thank you!!  

  • Karen Lyons September 4, 2020 (3:02 pm)

    DiverLaura, Thanks! for the explanation and ideas on what is happening. I’m now interested in following our waters and your reports. You are making it more understandable and approachable. Funny, I lived in NYC for 13 years and got the Times Square analogy ;->

  • JP September 4, 2020 (9:33 pm)

    Great video, Laura. What camera are you shooting with?

  • DiverLaura September 5, 2020 (1:56 pm)

    Hi JP, these were shot with a Kandao Qoocam8k in their stock dive housing.   its the best consumer/prosumer compact for underwater 360 at the moment, but takes a very robust video editing or high end gaming computer to be able to manage the footage.  I want to again thank EVERYONE who has reached out with historical anecdotes!!   They are so wonderful!  keep em coming!!!  I’m also interested in any photos of the shoreline you  may have in your archives that show the kelp beds in the water… I’ve gone back and started looking at historical aerials and am trying to piece together a story of the ever changing nearshore habitat of that very specific little area from Fauntleroy to Loweman.   It is such a perfect Petri dish with regards to how human intervention can change the nearshore and how nature does her best to find her way back when left alone.  

  • Crow September 6, 2020 (1:39 pm)

    What depth is the sea floor of the area you are shooting in?

    • Diverlaura September 7, 2020 (1:40 pm)

      Hi Crow,  these videos were all shot in the nearshore region with max depth of 20 feet if i dug a whole but mostly in the 15’ range. 

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