Kelp Farm

Herring Gut Learning Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, political affiliation, age, or religious beliefs in the administration of its programs.

About Our Seaweed Farm

During the 2015-2016 school year, Herring Gut began a new program,  venturing into a new field of aquaculture- kelp farming. Students in grades 6-8 from the St. George School work throughout the year to create a start-up kelp aquaculture business called Long Line Kelp Growers.   

Kelp is a brown seaweed that is rich in nutrients including calcium, magnesium, iodine, and iron. It is so healthy, in fact, that some people are deeming it the “new kale.” It can be used in a variety of applications including food products, skin and hair care products, pet food, and fertilizers. People along the coast have been eating wild-harvested seaweeds for centuries, however it is now becoming a more mainstream product with the explosion of the sushi industry in the United States, as well as through the local food movement.

Maine is a leader in kelp aquaculture, or sea farming, in the United States. The first commercial kelp aquaculture company in the United States, Ocean Approved, was founded in Portland in 2006, and many others have followed suit. With a generous grant from the EPSCoR program, Herring Gut has been able to get in on this cutting edge aquaculture technology and begin work to create demonstration kelp farms in the lobster pound on our campus.

Students work to get a limited purpose aquaculture license (LPA) from the Maine Department of Marine Resources, cultivate kelp spores or “seeds” in the laboratory, design and build kelp farms for grow-out over the winter in the lobster pound.  With the cultivated kelp they research, design, make, and market different products they create. Students also get several chances throughout the year to speak to different groups about how their program works, how to grow kelp and to talk about the products they make.  This program provides students the opportunity to work on the “soft” skills (communication, collaboration, and teamwork) that they will need as they become adults moving into the workforce. It is science based and they leave with a basic understanding of how a small business runs.

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Inspiring a New Generation through Marine Education

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