Welcome to Salish Seaweeds

It seems there is a general rule in all phases of ecology: the more vegetation found in any habitat, including sea grasses, mangrove swamps, mudflats, and the rocky shore, the more animals will be found. The rule is simple: just as animals in the terrestrial environment depend upon the jungles and forests for food and shelter, marine animals depend upon the sea grasses and algae for cover and forage. Siltation from dredging, industrial pollution, sewage or herbicides pouring into the ocean can denude a rocky shore of algae. So can a population explosion of hungry urchins ravenously chewing away all vegetation.
Jack Rudloe, The Erotic Ocean

We  grow seaweeds for a new generation of restoration in the Salish Sea and intend to fund our efforts with the clean, sustainable economic opportunities these plants provide.

The applications of marine plants are myriad: biofuels, agricultural feeds, cosmetics, medicinals, fertilizers, plastic substitutes, fabrics, edibles and things we haven’t even thought of yet.

Our goal is to cultivate seaweeds to serve these applications with an ultimate goal of using them to restore or create healthy marine habitats and contribute to the removal of excess nutrients and pollutants entering the Salish Sea..

Suquamish Tribe chief Leonard Forsman is quoted in an Associated Press news story as saying: “In order for us to reverse the tide of damage that’s been going on in Puget Sound, we’re going to need everybody… And that includes not only the government agencies and the state agencies and the nonprofits, but we also need all the people who live here and are moving here.

Edibles

All of the 650 species of  seaweeds in the Salish Sea are edible with the exception of Desmarestia spp which is commonly refered to as ‘Witch’s Hair.’ However, iodine concentrations can vary from 16µg/g in Porphyra spp (or Nori) to over 8000µg/g in Laminaria digitata (marketed as ‘kelp granules’). The FDA has set the acceptable daily intake of iodine for adults from a minimum of 150µg/day to a maximum of 1100 µg/day (200µg/day for toddlers).

These plants are an excellent source protein, functional fiber, amino acids and trace minerals, including iodine. Blanching, sun drying and other techniques lower the iodine values and some contain T4 precursors that can greatly benefit those with thyroid problems. Dr Ryan Drum is a local treasure in the San Juan Islands and we highly recommend those with questions about thyroid function and purchasing edible Salish Seaweeds to his website.

 

Botanicals

AA 2014 2Logo210 x 68

AlgalAid® is a topical formulation of  macroalgae  harvested from the Salish Sea and Alaska. Our goals are to develop standardized marine botanical extracts, formulate safe, effective marine botanical products. We ensure a low ecological impact of our endeavors on plant populations with sustainable wild harvest practices or aquaculture.

We do not test any ingredients on animals and use only pure natural products. Our manufacturing facility is FDA certified, subscribes to their Best Manufacturing Practices and our ingredients are GRAS (generally recognized as safe by the FDA.) All of our products are tested to be sure they are free of herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals and microbial contamination. We preserve our aqueous formulations with safe, effective food grade preservatives. There are no petrochemicals or synthetic compounds in our AlgalAid, or in our whole plant aqueous extracts.

Most importantly, it works!

Restoration- Phytoremediation

Laminaria hyperboreaThis is why we are in business! Marine plants are becoming recognized as valuable allies in the fight to keep our marine environment clean and healthy.  Marine plants can absorb as much as 5 times the CO2 as terrestrial plants and absorb large quantities of phosphate and nitrogen from fertilizers entering the Salish Sea. Marine plant aquaculture- seaweed farms- have also been shown to influence the carbonate (aragonite) concentrations and provide a refuge for pteropods, dungeness crab larvae and other shell forming plankton adversely affected by ocean acidification. They also provide cover for  herring, other forage fish and the base of the food web whose health is critical to the survival of our salmon and ultimately the Orcas.

While we applaud the creation of rain gardens to help mitigate the influx of toxins into the Salish Sea it seems that there is not much effort going on below high water. When placed downstream of storm water outfalls, marine plants have the ability to absorb large amounts of organic nutrients and can also act as phytoaccumulators of heavy metals, PAHs (Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons), PCBs (Poly Chlorinated Biphenols), and other toxins and pollutants from the water (1).  

Marine plants that have absorbed fertilizers from agricultural or residential run off and then returned for use as fertilizer effectively create a loop and  a check point . Plants with contaminants that are not degraded may be better suited for use as a biofuel, or in a worst case scenario, as toxic waste. The goal is to keep them out of the Salish Sea. We know that many of these pollutants are bound to bacteria and incorporated into plankton and some plants are more efficient than others at removing and /or degrading the pollutants. Much more research is needed to take the rain garden approach of restoration into the sea.

 

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