Through a commons-informed approach, Seaweed Commons seeks to form ecological seaweed coalitions, support and inform public discourse, increase algal literacy, and advocate for an appropriately scaled, just seaweed economy.
We are a network of seaweed advocates, harvesters, coastal citizens, and students of the intertidal. We maintain this website as a public learning place, keep a database of stakeholders and algae lovers around the world, archive information about marine algae, and take on various projects. Based in Downeast Maine, we welcome collaborators near and far.
This work brings us into intimate contact with the under-sea world, the ebb of the shore, the health of others in our algae community. We—as farmers, as eaters, as urban pier wanderers—have a role to play as citizen scientists and organizers. Across the Pacific and Atlantic, our conversations together allow us to learn about the traditional and emerging governance practices for stewarding this aquatic commons.
Our love of edible seaweeds brings us together to defend the commons and articulate a path forward as a community grounded in biology and thoughtful stewardship practices.
As seaweed becomes an increasingly valuable resource for a wide variety of culinary, industrial, and cosmetic applications, its role in the public trust and the marine environment are emergent and subject to industrial exploitation.
This is an informational website created in spring 2019 by amateur seaweed researchers with backgrounds in conservation and sustainable agriculture. It is a broad field, and evolving quickly. We hope this site will function as a tool for self-education, and help readers begin to discern what kind of seaweed economy to engage with in the Gulf of Maine and beyond.
The latest from our blog...
'Seaweed plays a key ecological role in coastal ecosystems and can be used for various applications. The development of the seaweed aquaculture sector can help to address global challenges related to human health, human consumption and sustainable circular bioeconomy....
credit: Josie Iselin https://www.josieiselin.com/events
Earthshot Prize Documentary Series
Revive Our Oceans Episode 4, minute 14.
viewable on BBC ONE iPlayer (UK) or on Discovery+ (US)
Come snorkel in the kelp forest with Josie and on into Josie's studio as Sir David Attenborough narrates the story of the bull kelp forest off the California coast as an introduction to global kelp forest issues.
Reasons to be Cheerful 7/6/2021
The seeds Orth and his team planted grew into plants which, in turn, produced their own seeds. “Nature kind of took over,” says Orth....
Hakai Magazine - 17/03/2020
This article is also available in audio format. Listen now, download, or subscribe to “Hakai Magazine Audio Edition” through your favorite podcast app.
Local legend has it that Beinn Ghobhlach mountain in the Scottish Highlands was once home to a witch....
The Wanderer 10/9/2021
The Marion Natural History Museum’s focus on timely science and matters pertaining to the natural world was once again brought to the fore when the museum hosted Scott Lindell of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on September 30....
The Atlantic 8/4/2019Sargassum algae piles up along Mexico's Punta Piedra beach. (Reuters)
In 2018, as seaweed piled up on beaches throughout the Caribbean, it began to rot....
Dear friends, lovers and seaweeders,
Exciting news today! Becoming CLIMAVORE, the Cooking Sections project for the 2021 Turner Prize exhibition, opens at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry. It consists of a collaboration with 21 museums across the UK that have removed farmed salmon from their menus and introduced CLIMAVORE dishes instead....
The Guardian 8/26/21
Kelp can clean New York’s polluted waters, tackle climate change and is sustainable – but growers need a law change first
Motoring out of Montauk Harbor aboard a research vessel,...
Reasons to be Cheerful 7/6/21
When Karen McGlathery used to swim in the coastal bays off Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the water would quickly turn cloudy and brown as sediment swirled around her....
The Townline 04/17/19
Amidst the lobster traps, blue and barren berried rolling hills of Harrington, Maine, forager, artist and engineer Dave Olson is re-imagining the rockweed harvesting scene....
An online series in 2021 to explore the resurgence of ancestral clam management practices.
Description of event 1: The purpose of this first webinar is to introduce the series and to co-create a vision for future webinars in this series that best serve coastal communities’ needs and priorities....