skip to main content

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Florida faces lawsuits over its new election law, a medical board fines an Indiana doctor for speaking about a 10-year-old's abortion, and Minnesota advocates say threats to cut SNAP funds are off the mark.

play newscast audioPlay

The White House and Speaker McCarthy gain support to pass their debt ceiling agreement, former President Donald Trump retakes the lead in a new GOP primary poll, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is impeached.

play newscast audioPlay

The growing number of "maternity care deserts" makes having a baby increasingly dangerous for rural Americans, a Colorado project is connecting neighbor to neighbor in an effort to help those suffering with mental health issues, and a school district in Maine is using teletherapy to tackle a similar challenge.

Kelp Restoration Makes Progress in Northern California

play audio
Play

Thursday, August 18, 2022   

Small sections of the kelp forests off the Mendocino coast are starting to recover with improved environmental conditions, thanks to a conservation program which sent divers to remove 45,000 pounds of purple sea urchins.

The urchins have devastated the once massive bull kelp forests, leaving a lifeless barren behind.

Dan Abbott, kelp forest program director for the Reef Check Foundation, said it is the first large-scale kelp-restoration project of its kind in northern California.

"It's not back to where it was, say pre-2015," Abbott acknowledged. "It's still only about 20% of the historical average. But again, it's only like a year and a half in. And it's a very encouraging result."

The purple sea-urchin population has exploded in the last eight years or so, partially because a wasting disease has decimated their chief predator, the sea star. In addition, the area has no sea otters to keep the urchins in check, because the otters were hunted to extinction in the early 1900s.

Sheila Semans, director of the Noyo Center for Marine Science in Fort Bragg, said the kelp forests there have recovered 5 to 10 percent - and serve as crucial habitat for hundreds of species.

"The sea lions hunt in it, the abalone eat it, the rockfish hide in it," Semans outlined. "There's just so many ecosystem services that it provides. On top of that, it sequesters carbon, and it buffers wave action along the coast."

The Noyo Center also is working to create a new fishery for purple urchins, which can be fattened up in an aquaculture facility and sold. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said it plans to develop a comprehensive statewide Kelp Recovery and Management Plan over the next five to 10 years.

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


get more stories like this via email
Florida's newest elections law requires that third-party voter registration groups provide mandatory formal signature-matching training to specified persons by the Florida Secretary of State. (Pixabay)

Social Issues

play sound

The moment Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a sweeping elections bill into law last week, several voter-advocacy groups filed lawsuits against it…


Health and Wellness

play sound

An Indiana licensing board has fined a local physician $3,000 and handed her a letter of reprimand after she went public about a 10-year-old Ohio pati…

Social Issues

play sound

Groups fighting for children's health are asking Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers to require insurance companies to cover hearing aids and related …


There used to be twice as many marshes and wetlands in Pennsylvania as there are today, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. (Christina Saymansky/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

From conservation to sportsmen's groups, the U.S. Supreme Court is getting plenty of backlash over its most recent ruling, which weakens federal …

Social Issues

play sound

Rural Nebraska could lose on two fronts if two of Gov. Jim Pillen's budget vetoes are allowed to stand. Pillen struck down a second year of …

Smaller and mid-sized farms say due to market concentration and supply-chain issues within agriculture have made it much harder to get their foods to various markets, including schools and restaurants within their own regions. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Rural development leaders say getting healthy, locally grown food to underserved areas is a challenge in states like North Dakota. They hope a new …

Health and Wellness

play sound

A new report spotlights some of the challenges to accessing behavioral health care for the one in seven Americans who live in rural areas. Kendall …

Social Issues

play sound

On Wednesday, Xcel Energy customers will have a chance to tell the Colorado Public Utilities Commission what they think about the company's request - …

 

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