Kelp Beds…And I Will Give You Rest?
Ever wonder why they’re called kelp BEDS? Anyone sleeping here?
No, this habitat teems with action: hundreds of different vertebrates and invertebrates, swimming, diving, feeding, hiding. And the kelp plant itself, always in motion, waving, teaming, bobbling, and just plain growing – kelp can grow a foot a day in springtime! I tell Aquarium guests that kelp beds are like California - rich, productive, diverse. No quiet nighttime bed.
Maybe it’s like “raised beds” in your garden, a place more for fecundity than snoring. Feeling creative? – let’s go to bed!
I was struck by this description of the Point Sur State Marine Reserve, a no-take area off the Big Sur Lighthouse: “This Marine Protected Area contains a wide diversity of habitats that support a range of fish, seabird and invertebrate species. The site encompasses a large kelp bed which provides a shelter and nursery habitat to rockfish and other species.”
More bed images: shelter, nursery, support.
That’s what kelp beds do: they break the crushing crash of ocean waves and provide a shelter space to tiny crabs and fragile sand dollars.
Like a baby’s crib, they offer baby rockfish a safe and cozy nursery away from predators.
And more bed action: the kelp forest really is like a singles bar; an easy welcoming hangout for flora and fauna to find a mate or at least improve the odds that those broadcast sperm and egg will meet and grow fecund.
I’ve always liked the Psalmist’s phrase, “God, you are our resting place.” Now I know a resting place is about more than sleep.
On our Blue Theology retreats and service trips on Monterey Bay you can spend time in cheap beds on the floor of our church or nice ones in local B&Bs, and then go out to experience the fabulous kelp beds. All these beds will give you rest, and more. Bluetheology.com. I post these ocean devotionals every Wednesday here and at Facebook.