Diver explores colorful algae

One indicator of the Olympic Coast's productivity is its diverse communities of algae. Here, divers survey benthic communities and record the distribution of the many species of green, brown and red algae found in Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Native Americans had many uses for marine algae, also known as seaweeds, including medicine, food, salt, and fishing gear. Modern day uses include the extraction of algin, which is used in everyday products such as paints, synthetics, pharmaceuticals, rubber, beer and toothpaste.