Drowned forests
Nurturing seaweed

Kelp forests are underwater areas with a high density of kelp, which covers a large part of the world's coastlines. Kelp beds are smaller areas of anchored kelp.

Kelps are ‘primary producers’ that modify the environment to create suitable habitat for a great diversity of species. Therefore we call them foundational species. Kelp forests are also among the most productive ecosystems in the world. They support the diverse assemblage of life that inhibits them, like sea urchins, sea stars, jellyfish, crabs and snails.

"I can only compare these large aquatic forests to land-based forests in intertropical regions. But if a forest were destroyed in any country, I don't believe as many species would perish as here, due to the destruction of kelp. Among the leaves of this plant live countless species of fish that cannot find food or shelter anywhere else; with their destruction, the many cormorants and other fishing birds, the otters, seals and porpoises would also soon perish; and finally, the Fuegian[s]…would diminish in number and perhaps cease to exist."

Charles Darwin, 1 June 1834, Tierra del Fuego, Chile. *

However, human influence has often contributed to the degradation of kelp forests. Of particular concern are the effects of overfishing in nearby ecosystems. This can quickly result in transitions to barren landscapes where relatively few species survive. Due to the combined effects of overfishing and climate change, kelp forests have already almost disappeared in many particularly vulnerable places. Examples include the east coast of Tasmania and the northern California coast.


Seaweed makes its food from the sun, many organisms feed on them and then in turn feed other animals. While kelp is food for many organisms, kelp also provides shelter for many forms of sea life.

And for humans? Kelp contains important minerals, antioxidants and vitamin B and C. And some species of kelp also contain protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids and fibre. Above that, kelp is especially rich in iodine, which is a nutrient that we need but that many people struggle to get enough of.

Giant kelp forests grow amid a variety of temperatures from chilly Alaska to the warm waters of Mexico. But marine heat waves and other climate change stressors threaten both bull kelp and giant kelp.

Kelp farms

Cultivated kelp can be used to produce plastic substitutes, beauty products and nutritional supplements.

"When it comes to sustainability, seaweed is about as shipshape as it gets. Minimal damage to the environment, check. No use of pesticides, check. Diversifies ocean life, check. Uses no land, check. And, in the case of Skye’s seaweed farm, spoils no one’s view, check."

Read more about farmed kelp in this interesting article The Guardian, 2024, June 13.

Drowned Earth collection

‘Symbiosis (3)’ is an artwork in my collection ‘Drowned Earth’. 
In this collection, I show how I see the earth from, let's say, a few centuries from now. An amalgamation of the forests and the oceans. With hopefully in the distant future a rich ecosystem that has managed to adapt to the new conditions.

Text continues below the image

'Symbiosis (3)' is an artwork in the collection 'Drowned Earth'. In this collection I show you how I see the earth from, let's say, a few centuries from now. An amalgamation of the forests and the oceans. With hopefully in the distant future a rich ecosystem that has managed to adapt to the new conditions.
Symbiosis (3)

General info on this artwork

This is a digital transformation of a photograph, printed with high-quality ink on museum-quality, acid-free cotton/rag paper (Hahnemühle Photo Rag® 308gsm). The work comes in a limited edition of 10, signed and with a certificate of authenticity. But of course, it is also available as Open Edition print, without signature and not numbered.

Maximum size is 225Wx150H cm / 90Wx60H inches. The work can be printed in any size up to that maximum, so please let me know the size you would prefer.

I start with one or more photographs made by myself to create these artworks. Then I use digital painting, color adjusting and adding and transforming multiple artistic effects, until a surrealistic atmosphere is created that touches me and tells the story I want to tell.

Prints are available, ask for a quote or contact me through a message. Prints are also available in my Saatchi Art portfolio at the artwork page and here.

Also available on Fine Art America


Through my artworks I ask you to reflect for a moment on the nature around you, on the beautiful feeling that nature can evoke, on your actions to support the wellbeing of the earth and everything that lives on it, on what humanity loses when many of us continue on the destructive path of ever more greed and consuming, on how you can survive in this rapidly changing world…

Want to know your ecological footprint? 

Visit this website: https://www.footprintcalculator.org/home/en 

Want to reduce your ecological footprint?

Ask me, I will help you. For free. Or simply choose in the menu for Your Footprint.

If you appreciate my writings and art and want to support me, you can buy me a piece of fruit here: https://ko-fi.com/jacobberghoef 

Thank you 🍏 !

* Darwin, C. 1909. The Voyage of the Beagle. The Harvard Classics Volume 29. New York, USA: P.F. Collier & Son Company.