For the next five years, the third Saturday of April will be declared kelp day in Laguna Beach thanks to the efforts of Patricia Cosulich, who successfully sought Mayor Jane Egly’s endorsement for the proclamation.
“This is monumental for the preservation and conservation of our kelp forests,” said marine biologist Nancy Caruso, of Garden Grove, whose non-profit Get Inspired works to replenish kelp forests along Laguna’s coastline. As part of Patricia’s efforts to achieve the Girl Scout Gold Award, which she received this week, the 17-year-old from Huntington Beach started seeking support from Laguna’s council members for the proclamation after this year’s third kelp festival on Main Beach. Patricia, a Huntington Beach High School student, is a member of Ohana Girl Scout Troop No. 701, also of Huntington Beach.
Over the past two years, Patricia’s Help the Kelp campaign included art contests, art displays, an appearance on a Disney TV show where she talked about kelp and recruiting 100 scouts to perform at the Kelpfest, Caruso said.
National Geographic explorer-in-residence Sylvia Earle, who attended a film screening recently at the Newport Beach Film Festival, characterized Laguna as a global “hope spot” for marine life recovery and sustainable fisheries, said Caruso, who believes kelp forests, along with the new marine protected areas, are key to restoration efforts.