Kelpfest Brings Underwater World to Main Beach

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Visitors to last year's kelp fest enjoyed the setting as well as the exhibits.

The second annual Kelpfest will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, on Main Beach. “Thousands of volunteers helped and are still helping to restore the kelp forests of Orange County, and when the kelp came back we needed to celebrate,” said event organizer Nancy Caruso, a marine biologist who founded Get Inspired!, a nonprofit devoted to restoring the Orange County oceans and teaching adults and children about their local marine biology.

Events are planned for the entire day to bring the kelp forests alive for people to see. “It is hard to explain a kelp forest to someone who’s never seen one so we will bring them to life on land,” said Caruso. Activities include a live underwater show from the kelp forest just off shore, live painting and sculpting, lots of activities for kids, and educational opportunities for all.

Caruso was instrumental in restoring the kelp forests and in getting Orange County students involved in the process. Those students now help to serve as kelp ambassadors, including students from Richard Selin’s sixth grade science class at Thurston Middle School, who will be on hand at Kelpfest to share their knowledge with the public about how important kelp is to the oceans and how to protect it.

A “Dive In” is scheduled for noon to highlight the concept of putting your face in the ocean and really looking at what’s there. “So many people who live in beach cities have never snorkeled along our coast in Orange County,” said Caruso. “That’s a shame. We want to encourage people to go explore the aquarium in their own backyard!”

To learn more about Kelpfest, visit  or contact Nancy Caruso at 714-206-5147.


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