Sarah Redmond of Springtide Seaweed harvests kelp from her aquaculture farm on Maine's Frenchman Bay. Springtide is building a saltwater lab and production facility on COA's campus, where students will become involved with seaweed cultivation and study how to incorporate seaweed into local food systems.Sarah Redmond of Springtide Seaweed harvests kelp from her aquaculture farm on Maine's Frenchman Bay. Springtide is building a saltwater lab and production facility on COA's campus, where students will become involved with seaweed cultivation and study how to incorporate seaweed into local food systems.

Springtide Seaweed’s Sarah Redmond and Trey Angera, who operate a 35-acre aquaculture lease in Frenchman Bay and several other sites along the Maine coast, will use the new saltwater lab to isolate and culture seed stock for a host of North Atlantic seaweed farms, experiment with local cultivars, and host student projects and experiments in the emergent field of Maine seaweed farming.

In exchange for the space, which is being developed in the basement of COA’s Turrets building, Redmond and Angera will work to incorporate the social, environmental, and scientific aspects Seaweed farmer Sarah Redmond of Springtide Seaweed has worked as a University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant Extension agent, providing marine-based education, outreach, and research, especially in the fields of seaweed and aquaculture. Along with business partner Trey Angera, Redmond will bring her ocean farming knowhow to College of the Atlantic's new saltwater production facility.Seaweed farmer Sarah Redmond of Springtide Seaweed has worked as a University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant Extension agent, providing marine-based education, outreach, and research, especially in the fields of seaweed and aquaculture. Along with business partner Trey Angera, Redmond will bring her ocean farming knowhow to College of the Atlantic's new saltwater production facility.of seaweed production, distribution, and consumption into the College’s curriculum.

“We are very excited and fortunate to be working with COA,” Angera said. “There are tremendous opportunities for students to learn and experiment with seaweed aquaculture, and having so many fresh eyes on our processes will offer us many chances to improve what we do. It’s going to be a great collaboration.”

With the Gulf of Maine warming faster than 99 percent of oceans around the world and traditional Maine fisheries under threat, ocean farming is an important, sustainable practice with great potential, COA President Dr. Darron Collins ’92 said.

“Anything we can do to help the coast of Maine diversify economically, and especially through our sustainable resource economy, provides a bulwark against changing environmental conditions and warming ocean waters,” Collins said. “Sarah and Trey are the best in the business and we are excited to have their help dreaming up and implementing all kinds of projects around this important type of work.”

The 600-square-foot lab will produce a sizeable amount of stock, Redmond said. One foot of string, seeded with 2mm plants in the lab, will produce up to 10 pounds of seaweed in the bay, she said. The facility will also contain a test kitchen and a small-scale tank aquaculture setup for year-round plants.

Springtide grows four types of kelp and are working on cultivating dulse and nori for local waters. Beyond fresh and dried seaweed, they also sell seasonings and prepared food products like seaweed mac-n-cheese, popcorn, and pickled seaweed stipes.

Springtide Seaweed's aquaculture lease is located in Frenchman Bay just off the College of the Atlantic waterfront. By growing seaweed on ropes submerged below the surface, ocean farmers can harvest up to 10 pounds per foot.Springtide Seaweed's aquaculture lease is located in Frenchman Bay just off the College of the Atlantic waterfront. By growing seaweed on ropes submerged below the surface, ocean farmers can harvest up to 10 pounds per foot.

“I’m really excited to have both Trey and Sarah working with the college,” said COA biology professor and associate academic dean Dr. Chris Petersen. “They provide breadth and depth in areas that we are interested in but really don’t have expertise, and they complement our work in marine conservation and climate change.”

Angera and Redmond are in the process of launching a state-of-the-art processing facility on the other side of Frenchman Bay in Gouldsboro, Angera said. They also maintain a saltwater lab and production site in Port Clyde.

The COA partnership opens a world of possibilities for the future of local ocean farming, said Ocean farming is a growing industry in Maine and elsewhere. Springtide Seaweed operates the largest organic seaweed farm in the U.S., just off the coast from College of the Atlantic.Ocean farming is a growing industry in Maine and elsewhere. Springtide Seaweed operates the largest organic seaweed farm in the U.S., just off the coast from College of the Atlantic.College of the Atlantic alumna Teagan White ’18, whose senior project explored the possibilities for aquaculture at COA.

“Aquaculture is a growing industry in the global economy, and this has been especially visible in Maine. Seaweed is currently one of the smallest sectors of aquaculture, but there is a lot of interest in it as a nutritious source of food, fertilizer, and potential environmental remediator of greenhouse gases and agricultural runoff,” White said. “Aquaculture has also become an increasing presence in marine biology and fisheries classes here at COA, and the student interest is high. This partnership is an amazing opportunity for the students to get involved and get their hands salty.”

College of the Atlantic is premised on the belief that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is to enabling students to actively shape the future. A leader in experiential learning and environmental stewardship, COA was named the #1 Green College in the U.S. by The Princeton Review and the Sierra Club in 2016 and 2017. Every COA student designs their own major in human ecology—which integrates knowledge from across academic disciplines and seeks to understand and improve the relationships between humans and their natural, built, and social environments—and sets their own path toward a degree.