Monthly Archives: April 2021

Pacific North West Protectors: Guardians of the Kelp

Written by Madison Churchill; photos by Hannah Gabrielson

Donned in thick neoprene and extra-long fins, we dive below the surface. One breath at a time takes us deeper into an underwater world, bringing everything into focus with each descent. We are freediving at Lime Kiln State Park on San Juan Island, a historically thriving kelp forest that’s now under threat. What we see now is alarming. One dip beneath the surface reveals a barren of sea urchins as far as the eye can see. These spiny invertebrates serve their function in small numbers, but when left unchecked, can devour kelp like no other. Some stalks of kelp have been spared and continue to grow, but there’s been a clear shift. Something is out of balance.…

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