Researchers will add 0.33 acres to its existing seaweed farm and create a kelp hatchery onshore at the Humboldt State Marine Lab. The farm, called HSU-ProvidenSea, sits in a permitted area just a few hundred yards off the shores of Humboldt Bay. Students will gain practical ocean farming experience, monitor the reproduction and growth of the bull kelp, track factors like water quality and temperature, and evaluate the cost of seeding and production.
After launching California’s first open-water commercial seaweed farm last year, researchers noticed that bull kelp was growing naturally on lines intended for dulse seaweed.
Kelp traps an outsized amount of carbon dioxide and reduces acidification, a byproduct of a rapidly changing atmosphere. Kelp can also be used for human consumption, animal feed, agricultural fertilizer, as sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic, and more.