More info: This live webcam at the Kelp Forest exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is in one of the tallest aquarium exhibits in the world. It gives a diver's-eye-view of sardines, leopard sharks, wolf-eels and a host of other fish as they weave through swaying fronds of kelp, just like they do in their natural habitat.
Sea kelp is among the largest species of seaweed. Unlike other kinds of seaweed, sea kelp fixes itself to a single spot and groups together to form thick forests. Kelp forests grow predominantly on the Pacific Coast, from Alaska and Canada to the waters of Baja California.
Kelp forests provide not only shelter, but also a source of food for a variety of invertebrates, fish, marine mammals, and birds. Some animals, like turban snails, graze directly on the growing kelp, but many animals (like abalones, sea urchins and bat stars) feed on detached fronds that drift to the bottom. A kelp forest has a greater variety and higher density of plants and animals than almost any other ocean community - this is mainly because due to its structure it offers more types of home and habitat.
The species called giant kelp is one of the fastest growing plants in nature and can grow up to two feet per day ! Giant kelp has no true roots, stems, leaves or flowers. A single frond can live for more than six months. Giant kelp grows best in areas with rocky bottoms, plenty of light and enough water motion to keep nutrients circulating around the plant. Because kelp depends on light for photosynthesis, kelp forests are rarely found in deep open waters.