On YouTube: Stony Brook Researchers — Sugar Kelp Could Help Cleanup Long Island's Waterways
Harmful Algal Blooms - News

NOTE: Using kelp to help reduce nitrogen in Long Island waters was the subject of Dr. Christopher Gobler's May 27th press conference at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) Marine Science Center at Stony Brook Southampton. This research was sponsored by Suffolk County, New York Sea Grant, the New York Farm Viability Institute, and USDA. Below is a media mention related to this announcement.

Filed by News 12 Long Island

Southampton, NY, May 24, 2021 - Researchers at the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University are studying how sugar kelp may benefit Long Island's waterways.

Sugar kelp is a type of seaweed that could soon be used in restaurants or on lawns and vegetable gardens.

Researchers say it's beneficial to Long Island's waterways because it takes nitrogen out of the water. Too much nitrogen has been blamed for algae blooms and brown tide. They say all the nitrogen absorbed by the sugar kelp can be used to fertilize lawns and help to eliminate the need for pesticides.

"Right now, on Long Island there's truckloads of fertilizers being dumped on golf courses and lawns and that nitrogen finds its way into our coastal waters fueling these algae blooms," says Mike Doall, of Stony Brook Southampton. "Well, what if we grow sugar kelp and other seaweeds and that sucks this nitrogen out of the water and then we take these seaweeds and convert it into fertilizer?"

Some restaurants are also experimenting with sugar kelp. Colin Keillor, of the Jedediah Hawkins Inn and Restaurant in Jamesport, says he's been cooking with sugar kelp.

"A lot of people especially out here on the North Fork with all the farms, there are lots of people that are always looking for what's out, what's new, what are the farmers putting out on the farm stands. And they're looking for that on menus," says Keillor.

Sugar kelp is grown from seeds in a rope. Scientists say it grows fast — up to 12 feet long in about five months. They say about 70,000 pounds of it can be grown in an acre of water.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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