Protect Our Oceans

The public weighs in on Washington’s kelp and eelgrass conservation program

Washington's Department of Natural Resources has kicked off engagement meetings for Kelp Forest and Eelgrass Meadow Health and Conservation Plan.


Marine plants like kelp and eelgrass are incredible. They are a source of refuge for many species like crabs and juvenile fish, they serve as a great cultural resource for local Tribes, and are fantastic at storing atmospheric carbon as well as buffering the impacts of climate change and sea level rise.

Sadly, over the past few decades, scientists have observed population declines in both species ranging from 30-60% in many places. The losses have been attributed primarily to water pollution and climate change. The good news is Washingtonians want to do something about it.

In 2022, Governor Inslee signed Senate Bill 5619 which set an ambitious goal for the state of Washington to conserve and restore 10,000 acres of kelp and seagrass habitat by 2040. This week, the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) held their second meeting regarding the Kelp Forest and Eelgrass Meadow Health and Conservation Plan with people from the community, local Tribes, nonprofits, and federal agencies attended. These meetings are part of a set of five public meetings that DNR is holding; it’s clear they want to have the public’s input on how to save the amazing ocean plants.

You can read more about the program and receive updates on future events here.

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