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...
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....
DATMA’s “WATER 2021” Brings International Hydro Art, Design, and Technology to Massachusetts’ Southern Coast
DATMA’s free public art projects will examine the role of water within the histories, economies, and cultures of several countries as well as SouthCoast Massachusetts—from its geographic location and its wide-ranging fishing industry to the technologies of the 21st century providing new sources of energy while protecting the fragile ecology of the region....
Century-old maps are helping track B.C.'s kelp forests — and their discovery was kind of an accident
The Canadian Press · Posted: Mar 01, 2019
A serendipitous meeting between a professor and a colleague last year led to a treasure trove of historical maps that indicated kelp bed locations off British Columbia's coast,...
Atlas Obscura 4/14/2020
Sargassum is the umbrella term for a group of marine algae species—within a larger group called seaweed—that’s fundamental to the health of an entire region of the Atlantic and the many species who either live there or pass through....
The Nature Conservancy and NOAA scientists publish first-ever global guidance on top locations for sustainable shellfish and seaweed farming
The Nature Conservancy 08/2020
As the world faces increasing pressures to conserve vulnerable ocean environments,...