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Suffolk County Kelp Farm: A New ‘Green Industry’ On Long Island

Courtesy of Cornell Cooperative Extension
Kelp and eelgrass

A Suffolk County pilot program to grow kelp had its first successful harvest this week.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension grows kelp on the East End to see if the crop can be farmed commercially.

Chris Pickerell, marine program director for the Extension, says, ”Part of our project is not only testing feasibility for growth of kelp, but also to see whether or not there is a ready market and how we can collaborate with businesses on Long Island to produce it and grow it and hopefully sell it in the future.”

Pickerell says the sugar kelp can be used for food, fertilizer and even medicine. It also helps the environment because kelp removes nitrogen and carbon from the water.

New York wants to catch up to other states like Connecticut, which already have regulated kelp farms. Suffolk County wants to pass its own legislation.