Kelp in Washington: Why You Must Care!

Strands of floating yellow kelp seen from underwater

Thursday, May 27, 2021
4:30 p.m. PDT




Check out this video to watch the Kelp in Washington: Why You Must Care!.

Brought to you in partnership with Huxley College of the Environment and the WWU Alumni Association

Kelp are a group of 23 species of large seaweeds found throughout the Salish Sea. We will explore their fascinating biology, and then explain how they form a critical habitat for so many invertebrates and fish, as well as create the base of the food web for not only the Salish Sea nearshore but also for deepwater and terrestrial ecosystems. And it is becoming increasingly apparent that kelp are critical to many fisheries, birds and mammals.

We will also look at how kelp are directly important to you, providing food, fertilizer, biofuels, and obscure but critical chemicals. And kelp can help with mitigating ocean acidification, sequester carbon, and provide nutrient remediation. When you tie all these all together, you will really know why you must care.

More information about the speaker series is available here

Tom Mumford

Tom Mumford


Tom Mumford received a BA from Wabash College (1966) and served in the US Army from 1966-1969. He received a PhD in Botany from the University of Washington (1973) then spent three years at UBC on a postdoctoral fellowship before joining the Washington Department of Natural Resources in 1976. At WDNR he researched the cultivation of seaweeds for the production of phycolloids and food, and developed and managed programs for management and inventory of seaweeds and seagrasses on state-owned aquatic lands. He served on the Nearshore Science Team for the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project. He has taught in various universities and consulted overseas in seaweed aquaculture.

Since his retirement in 2011, he is focusing on researching marine algal biodiversity, the role of kelp in marine ecosystems, on kelp restoration, and on teaching. He was lead biologist for an ARPA-E project to grow kelp for biomass. He helped in developing the Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Plan, and acts in an advisory role for the Puget Sound Restoration Fund’s project for using kelp to mitigate for OA. He sits as an alternate on the Strategic Advisory Council for the OCNMS and is on the Science Advisory Committee for the NW Straits Initiative.

Questions and Accommodations

Stefan Freelan is the coordinator of the Huxley Speaker Series. Feel free to email or call (360) 650-2949 if you have any questions or comments.

There will be auto-captions available for this event. To request closed captions, please mark the request on the registration form. Advance notice of three days to one week is appreciated.