MDI Science Café — Kelp Farming as a Potential Strategy for Remediating Ocean Acidification and Improving Shellfish Cultivation
Maine is uniquely vulnerable to ocean acidification from both an environmental and socio-economic perspective. To address this vulnerability, Maine was the first east coast state to convene a legislatively established commission to address acidification in its waters and potential impacts on commercially important species. Commission recommendations included research to better understand the carbon capturing role of growing and harvesting macroalgae and determining potential benefits of co-culturing macrophytes, such as kelp, with shellfish. Cultivated seaweed may remove sufficient amounts of CO2 to mitigate acidification at small spatial scales, creating a ‘halo’ of improved growing conditions for nearby shellfish. Susie Arnold, Ph.D., Marine Scientist at the Island Institute, will summarize findings of the first three years of a research effort involving the Island Institute, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and aquaculture industry collaborators to determine if co-cultivation can provide a strategy for improving shellfish production in the face of ocean acidification. The MDI Science Café series is held on the second Monday of the month through May, when the bimonthly summer series will begin. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Preregistration is not required but we encourage all attendees to preregister online if possible as it is helpful in ensuring that we have enough space available. No physical ticket is needed for entry. MDI Science Cafés are offered in fulfillment of the MDI Biological Laboratory’s mission to promote scientific literacy and increase public engagement with science. The popular events offer a chance to hear directly from speakers about trends in science. Short presentations delivered in everyday language are followed by lively, informal discussion.