Articles written by Julie Watson

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  • Volunteers smash purple sea urchins to save California kelp forests

    Julie Watson, Associated Press|Feb 28, 2024

    CASPAR BEACH, Calif. - A welding hammer strapped to her wrist, Joy Hollenback slipped on blue fins and swam into the churning, chilly Pacific surf one fall morning to do her part to save Northern California's vanishing kelp forests. Hollenback dove into the murky depths toward the seafloor. There, she spotted her target: voracious, kelp-devouring purple urchins. Within seconds she smashed 20 to smithereens. "If you're angry, it's a cathartic way to get it all out," Hollenback joked. "It's...

  • Federal fishery council votes to close California, Oregon coast to chinook catch

    Julie Watson and Lisa Baumann, Associated Press|Apr 12, 2023

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — A federal regulatory group voted last Thursday to officially close king salmon fishing season along much of the West Coast after near-record low numbers of the fish returned to California’s rivers last year. The Pacific Fishery Management Council approved the closure of the 2023 season for all commercial and most recreational chinook fishing along the coast from Cape Falcon in northern Oregon to the California-Mexico border. Limited recreational salmon fishing will be allowed off southern Oregon in the fall. “The forec...