KIRO Newsradio Headlines: Environmental groups push to make bull kelp an endangered species

Sep 6, 2022, 5:14 PM

(Getty Images)...

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Environmental groups are pushing to make bull kelp an endangered species.

Bull kelp is a seaweed that is an important habitat for fish and sea otters in the Puget Sound, similar to the importance of coral reefs in tropical waters.

Cynthia Catton from the Department of Natural Resources says that kelp forests have been decimated in Northern California and Oregon but that we are doing better here in Washington State.

In March, Washington passed a state law that aims to restore 10 thousand acres of our state’s underwater kelp forests by 2040.

Catton says that identifying something as endangered elevates awareness of the issue and puts a focus on it. She says that in Washington, we are prioritizing what is considered an underwater forest.

Discovery Park beaches closed this week

The north and south beaches at Seattle’s Discovery Park will be closed tomorrow and Thursday because of work on the West Point Treatment Plant.

The West Point Lighthouse, as well as the nearby parking trails and roads, will also be closed.

Council sponsors bill to investigate crisis pregnancy centers

Councilmember Tammy Morales sponsored a bill to stop, what she calls, deceptive practices by the limited services centers. These centers have been accused of pretending to offer abortion services, but don’t, and instead, try to push pregnant people to use adoption or other alternatives.

Morales said these centers outnumber actual clinics 3-1 across the U.S. and in Washington, where they are able to skirt state law by not having any licensed medical staff.

If the mayor signs the bill, the centers could face tickets and fines for lying either by statement or omission about about the services they provide.

Gas-powered leaf blowers on their way out

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved Councilmember Alex Pedersen’s resolution to phase out the use of gas-fueled leaf blowers.

Specifically, the resolution calls on city departments to have a phase-out plan by the end of this year, so the city and its contractors can cease use of the leaf blowers by January 2025 – before a full city-wide ban in January 2027.

The resolution also calls on the council to explore incentives for landscaping businesses and low-income residents, such as a buy-back program to ditch the tools for something friendlier to the environment.

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KIRO Newsradio Headlines: Environmental groups push to make bull kelp an endangered species