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Exploring the Science of Seaweed Farming

More than 95 students attended the 2019 harvest at the Boothbay Sea and Science Center at Ocean Point Marina.

Exploring the Science of Seaweed Farming is an in-school program about Maine seaweed farming that integrates sea, science and observation skills, and real time data collection and analysis done by students and teachers at: Boothbay Sea and Science Center, Whitefield Elementary School, Boothbay Region Elementary School, Edgecomb Eddy School,  Wiscasset Middle High School,  Southport Central School,  Georgetown Central School.

More than 100 people attended the student-led Community Presentation on May 10, 2019 at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.

Through participation in hands-on marine science activities onshore, offshore, and in the classroom, the overall goal of Exploring the Science of Seaweed Farming is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the seaweed farming industry developing in Maine especially along the Damariscotta River … an effort directed toward improving the understanding of an industry that is having a positive economic impact worldwide and potentially positively stimulate economic growth in Maine.

The marine environment is facing severe challenges and impacts by pollution, ocean acidification, human development, and invasive species. This program stimulates investigation exploring these issues, challenges students and teachers to think critically about future problems and possible solutions, and helps students gain a greater understanding of where they live and have a stronger sense of place.

In the State of Maine, there are very few Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) educational opportunities available to students that are experiential (hands-on) in nature. The Boothbay Sea and Science Center’s programs are unique in this way – where students are immersed in a science-learning environment (both shore- based and sea-based activities), learn about aquaculture and ocean conservation, and work side by side with educators, scientists and aquaculturists. Our programs open “doors of opportunity” in the sciences to help students gain lifelong skills and discover career paths leading to work in STEM fields.

Participating schools

  • Summer 2016: Exploring Maine Aquaculture Summer Program at BSSC
  • Winter 2017: Seedlings at; Edgecomb Eddy School
  • Fall 2017: Seedlings at; Southport Central School , Boothbay Region Elementary School, Edgecomb Eddy School
  • Fall 2018: Seedlings at; Southport Central School, Boothbay Region Elementary School, Edgecomb Eddy School, Whitefield Elementary School, Wiscasset Middle High School
  • Fall 2019: Southport Central School, Boothbay Region Elementary School, Edgecomb Eddy School, Whitefield Elementary School, Wiscasset Middle High School, Georgetown Central School

Thank you to all who support this program:

  • Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
  • Maine Sea Farms
  • Springtide Seaweed
  • Ocean Point Marina
  • University of Maine EPSCoR SEANET STEM Workforce Development Mini-Grant
  • Maine Community Foundation – Lincoln County Fund
  • Celia Lipton Farris and Victor W. Farris Foundation
  • Harold Dudley Charitable Fund
  • Onion Foundation
  • Edgecomb Eddy School
  • Boothbay Region Elementary School
  • Southport Central School
  • Whitefield Elementary School
  • Wiscasset Middle High School
  • Georgetown Central School

The process, from planting to eating