Using Seaweed Farms to Clean Organic Pollutants from San Diego Bay
The frequent introduction of organic pollutants into the marine environment causes concern for the health of nearshore ecosystems and the people that use them.
Ecologist Matthew Edwards is working with Leslie Booher and Torre Polizzi from Sunken Seaweed, LLC to grow seaweeds that will remove pollutants from San Diego Bay waters through bioremediation.
They are currently testing mass-specific and time-dependent rates of Nitrogen and Phosphorus uptake by the green alga Ulva lactuca (aka sea lettuce). If this seaweed is shown to effectively remove these organic pollutants from the water, they will expand their activities to grow Ulva on a farm near the Grape Street Pier in San Diego Bay, helping to clean the bay’s waters and improve the health of the ecosystem. The U.S. Department of Energy supports this research (DE-AR0001171).