Saturday, July 2, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.


SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

WA Kelp Decline Bad News Culturally, Environmentally for Northwest


Monday, March 21, 2022   

Kelp forests in Puget Sound play an integral role environmentally and culturally, but they're in steep decline.

There are more than 20 species of kelp in the region that are a vital source of food and habitat for marine animals. They also are important to indigenous people of the region.

Todd Woodard - natural resources director for the Samish Indian Nation - said tribal members have used kelp fronds as wraps to cook salmon, and kelp bulbs to carry oil for heat and light and as rattles for young children.

"It's a critical part of cultural identity to the Coast Salish people here," said Woodard. "It's a critical part of the sense of place that indigenous populations have, and indigenous people both on the first nations and the tribe side are working very hard to try and figure out what's happening and what can be done to mitigate for it."

Last summer, Puget Sound Restoration Fund brought together 200 people for an eight-day scientific exploration of kelp. It's part of an effort to implement the 2020 Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Plan.

The team is releasing videos of its expedition to raise awareness about kelp's decline.

Betsy Peabody is executive director of the Puget Sound Restoration Fund. She said kelp is vital to the food web, which means they support iconic Northwest species such as salmon and orca.

Peabody noted that humans rely on Puget Sound's food web as well, and so the decline of kelp forests has a direct impact on people.

"We're just wanting to work with others to really connect those dots," said Peabody, "in the way that we need to in order to support the conservation and restoration at a scale that can help protect these essential, iconic marine systems."

Peabody said warming temperatures are putting pressure on kelp. But the species also plays an essential role capturing climate-warming sources of carbon.

"Underwater kelp forests provide some of the same CO2 sequestration that terrestrial forests provide," said Peabody.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …


The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …

The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021