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Studies testing kelp as local fix for acidifying seawater

July 1, 2016
In this photograph taken April 8, 2016, ecologist Brian Allen, left, and scientist Joth Davis, of the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, inspect two spools holding twine full of young kelp in a boat on Washington state's Hood Canal. An experiment will test whether a seaweed farm can take up carbon dioxide from surrounding waters to combat ocean acidification. (AP Photo/Manuel Valdes)
In this photograph taken April 8, 2016, ecologist Brian Allen, left, and scientist Joth Davis, of the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, inspect two spools holding twine full of young kelp in a boat on Washington state's Hood Canal. An experiment will test whether a seaweed farm can take up carbon dioxide from surrounding waters to combat ocean acidification. (AP Photo/Manuel Valdes)

HOOD CANAL, Wash. (AP) — A team of scientists is investigating whether growing seaweed can reduce carbon dioxide levels in the inland marine waters of Puget Sound.

They’re hoping to find a strategy to ease the local effects of ocean acidification — when seas absorb carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by human activity. They also want to find ways to market that harvested kelp for food, fuels or fertilizers.

Led by Joth Davis and Betsy Peabody with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, the team will grow sugar and bull kelp over the next two years in Hood Canal.

Scientists from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and University of Washington will monitor seawater chemistry in and around those farms and measure whether and how much CO2 the macro algae take up.

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