Environmental Policy News

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Applauds Re-Introduction of Legislation to Restore and Protect Kelp Forests

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation President and CEO Joel Johnson released the following statement on the re-introduction of the “Help Our Kelp Act” by Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-2).

“Kelp forests are home to otters and sharks and are natural defenders of our coastlines. Native to several national marine sanctuaries, they are carbon sinks, and critically important to fisheries. We must do more to address, prevent, and reverse kelp forest loss in California and throughout our nation’s waters as a key nature-based solution to tackle climate change. I thank Congressman Huffman and the co-sponsors for their leadership to recover kelp forests.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is committed to supporting protection and restoration of kelp forests, including the Farallones Kelp Recovery Program that promotes national, regional, state, and local partnerships to advance kelp restoration, monitoring, research, and community engagement. The solutions pioneered to protect kelp in places like our national marine sanctuaries can help address existential threats like biodiversity loss elsewhere around the world. The Foundation and our partners are working towards a healthy kelp forest ecosystem on the west coast by engaging in efforts to map kelp forest coverage and loss using drone technology, conduct large-scale urchin removals, and plant young kelp in cleared areas.

Though recovery efforts are underway, additional funding is needed for conservation, restoration, and management projects for kelp forest ecosystems. The Help Our Kelp Act will direct federal resources to support these vital recovery efforts and leverage private and philanthropic support.”

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