Professor George Kraemer will study ways to reduce the over-fertilization of Long Island Sound through the farming of two kinds of seaweed. Working with Dr. Charles Yarish of the University of Connecticut’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, he and a team of researchers will grow two different kinds of seaweed on rafts off Bridgeport, CT and at the mouth of the Bronx River. They will also grow mussels to remove particles from the water.
The project will use the natural process of bioextraction in this study. Seaweed will be grown on rafts at test sites and will absorb the excess nutrients found in the Sound’s waters. The plants will then be harvested, taking the pollutants with them. The research will determine the optimal conditions for seaweed growth and the optimal time for its harvest.
The project will include the development of a manual for seaweed cultivation and harvest for bioextraction. A companion DVD video will include instructions for the implementation and operation of a culture system, such as the one developed during the present project.
Assisting the Professors are research assistants from Purchase College, students and faculty at the Bridgeport Regional Vocational Aquaculture School, and the non-profit organization Rocking the Boat in the Bronx that teaches local high school students about life and learning through boat building.
The project is funded by the EPA’S National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Long Island Sound Futures Fund. Yarish and Kraemer’s grant, is titled “Development of Seaweed Aquaculture for Bioextraction of Inorganic Nutrients from LIS and Adjacent Waters.”