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Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Maine’s coastal waters unhealthy from carbon, acidity. Are seaweed gardens the answer?

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Bill Trotter, BDN Staff Feb 7 2017  See full article here

BOOTHBAY, Maine — Seaweed cultivation has been promoted in recent years in Maine as a way to produce local nutritious food and to boost the coastal economy.

Now, seaweed harvesters say their industry provides yet another benefit: environmental protection, in the form of improving water quality.

A new study from Bigelow Laboratory for Marine Sciences in Boothbay indicates growing and harvesting seaweed may be an antidote for increasing carbon and acidity levels in the ocean, which is harming a variety of marine life.

Since January 2016, the lab has been studying the effect of kelp growth on surrounding carbon levels at the Ocean Approved seaweed farm off Great Chebeague Island in Casco Bay…. According to Price, in the six months that scientists measured carbon dioxide levels in and around the 3-acre kelp farm, they found the kelp was absorbing carbon at the same rate carbon levels are expected to increase in the Gulf of Maine over the next 100 years from global use of fossil fuels….

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