Gold-colored seaweed fronds waving against a bright blue background

New Project Launch: Seaweed Farming in California

Exploring the Science, Economics, and Policy Landscape for Seaweed Farming in California

By Melissa Abderrahim

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new initiative, with funding from ClimateWorks Foundation, to explore the science, economics, and policy landscape for seaweed farming in California.

Seaweed farming is the fastest growing aquaculture sector in the United States, however, this sector is in its infancy in California. The potential benefits of both land-based and open water-based seaweed farming are numerous, including carbon capture and local amelioration of ocean acidification, food security, and supporting livelihoods of coastal communities. Interest and investment in developing science and technology for seaweed farming as a carbon dioxide removal (CDR) pathway is rapidly expanding, prompting the need to also consider broader risks and costs associated with seaweed aquaculture. At the same time, California’s costly and complex regulatory and permitting landscape acts as a significant barrier to expansion of this sector, in addition to the challenges of incorporating emerging science, and building new markets in the state for potential end uses like biofuels.

With this effort, we aim to convene subject matter experts together with representatives from state government and other thought leaders to:

  • Explore opportunities for seaweed farming to contribute to California’s habitat, climate, and blue economy goals
  • Discuss best available science on the co-benefits and uses of kelp and other seaweeds and identify research needs for California
  • Explore barriers and opportunities for advancing responsible and scalable seaweed farming in California from a management a regulatory perspective

Learn More
Developing science solutions to adapt to climate change impacts is core to our work. For more information and project updates, please visit our webpage here.

< Back