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Hood Canal kelp studied for future of ocean life

Sugar kelp, or Latissima saccharina, benefits the ocean environment in many ways. Ocean Approved is proud to be the first kelp farmers in the United States, growing sugar kelp along the clean waters of coastal Maine. Below is an article about the research scientists in Washington State are doing to clean the Puget Sound's water column to save the shellfish population from ocean acidification.

by Alison Morrow, King 5 News - Washington state

Researchers are planning to grow 3 acres of sugar kelp north of the Hood Canal Bridge in an effort to save shellfish, and thereby larger ocean life.

"Sugar kelp is a native species. It grows naturally here in Puget Sound," said Puget Sound Restoration Fund Executive Director Betsy Peabody.

PSRF received a $1.5 million grant from the Paul Allen Family Foundation to conduct the research in partnership with NOAA and the Washington State Department of Resources.

Sugar kelp naturally consumes carbon dioxide in the water. Ocean acidity is increasing due to several factors, including ancient water that is rising to the surface as well as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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Once the research ends, the kelp will likely be harvested for food, biofuels, and fertilizer. Researchers hope to have the sensors in the water by next year, and all the research data available to come through by 2019.