Puget Sound kelp need your help; kelp beds disappearing throughout area

MyNorthwest —

If you decide to socially distance on a boat, be sure to look down into the water — you could be unknowingly harming kelp beds.

An effort is underway with federal, state, and local government agencies, nonprofits, and tribes to save the Puget Sound’s kelp. The stakeholders include, among others, the Northwest Straits Commission, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and Marine Agronomics.

The Kelp Plan seeks to track and monitor the recession of kelp, raise awareness of the problem, create kelp protection areas, restore kelp beds, and encourage people to do their part to stop the trend.

“A lot of the steps to recover and protect kelp are the same things that you need to do to enhance the health of Puget Sound in general,” said Dana Oster, marine program manager at the Northwest Straits Commission. “This is a species-specific recovery plan, but everything is very much synergistic with all the efforts that need to happen to protect and restore Chinook and Southern Residents and the health of Puget Sound in general.”

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