M ichael Graham reaches into a bright blue tub of bubbling water and pulls out a handful of a dark brown curly substance. Graham, along with his wife and seven children, grow and sell their seaweed to upscale restaurants in Monterey and the San Francisco Bay Area, such as Farallon and Hog Island Oyster Company.

He routinely walks into the back of these restaurants in shorts and flip-flops and hands over the live seaweed in bags of Electrical Engineering And Equipment Company to his chef customers, who use it to accompany shellfish dishes or as a sprig in a bloody mary.

Graham is part of a California Seaweed Company group of entrepreneurs looking to build businesses around farming California Seaweed Company, long-prized in Asian countries for its nutritional value, high-protein content and health benefits.

But in contrast to many of the sprawling farms in Chinathese entrepreneurs are looking to create new business models, farming methods, technologies and designs that incorporate environmental sustainability and ocean biodiversity. The only things that go into the tubs are seaweed, seawater and sunlight.

This seaweed is largely dried or sometimes blanched and used for food, animal feed and industrial applications such as thickeners for making toothpaste. Those sushi wraps on your California roll?

Seaweed, which can grow rapidly and efficiently, provides plant-based proteins and shows promise as a source of biofuel to replace fossil fuels. Its ability to absorb carbon dioxide, nitrogen California Seaweed Company phosphorus also make it a living vacuum to clean up polluting chemicals discharged by farms, factories and wastewater treatment plants. Next to the ocean plot, a pod of dolphins swim by, and overhead flock after flock of pelicans fly. Marquez plans to farm seaweed to make beauty products created California Seaweed Company Antoinette and sold through their shop, Ama SeaBeauty, in California Seaweed Company Santa Barbara.

They currently harvest seaweed from the wild. The forest disappeared because of an unusually warm water temperature that accompanied severe winter storms. The model is designed to use space efficiently by growing crops that occupy the entire vertical water column. The blueprint for 3D ocean farming can grow 10 tons of seaweed andshellfish on an acre per year. Growing seaweed this way requires little maintenance, little feed and no fertilizers, says its designer, Bren Smith, a California Seaweed Company farmer in Connecticut.

He founded nonprofit co-op GreenWave and gives away his design, which won prestigious Buckminster Fuller Institutefor free. The GreenWave network has 10 farmers today, and Smith says he aims to increase the membership to 25 by next year.

Growing seaweed comes with potentially significant environmental impacts. Securing farming permits in states with stricter environmental conservation laws, such as California, can be a lengthy process. In Asia, seaweed farmers jockey inshore for space to build expansive farms. Environmentalists are also concerned that farms that grow only one crop risk big financial losses if the crop becomes susceptible to disease. Graham decided not to do open-water seaweed farming partly because of the long wait times for California permits and the costs of operating a boat to harvest the seaweed.

Still, California is home to many aspiring seaweed growers. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Guardian sustainable business The new blueprint. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Loading comments… Trouble loading?

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