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May 8, 2024

Kelp Plan Status Update

Download the latest Kelp Plan Status Update (pdf).

Whitty, J. and Oster, D. 2023. Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Plan: Status Update. 32 pages plus appendices.

Excerpt from the Executive Summary:

Puget Sound kelp forests face ongoing threats from human and climate-induced stressors, which has resulted in declines of canopy-forming kelp in South and Central Puget Sound. There is an urgent need to better understand kelp stressors, ecosystem function, and distribution/trends, and identify how to best protect and restore kelp forests, to reverse these trends.

The Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Plan (Kelp Plan; Calloway et al. 2020; https://nwstraits.org/our-work/kelp/) is the result of a collaborative effort by diverse partners to cocreate a vision and plan to conserve and recover kelp in Puget Sound. The Kelp Plan provides a research and policy framework consisting of goals and actions aimed at protecting and restoring Puget Sound kelp species and the ecosystem services they provide. Published in 2020, the Kelp Plan has guided the development and funding of projects, served as a summary of the state of the knowledge, and inspired regional initiatives and conservation plans. The Kelp Plan’s call to action created a wave of momentum within the kelp community, which resulted in advancements in support of the conservation and recovery of Puget Sound’s kelp forests.

This report summarizes progress made in early 2020 (noting that the Kelp Plan was published in May 2020) through early 2023 and provides workshop-generated needs and next steps to continue our collective progress towards accomplishing the Kelp Plan goals and actions. Part of charting a path forward includes understanding the work that has happened to date and how it has contributed to carrying out individual actions in the Kelp Plan. The process of information gathering and reflection included the development of an inventory of kelp projects in Puget Sound, and convening a workshop to generate a shared understanding of Kelp Plan status, lessons learned, and next steps.