Belfast Area students prepare seawater aquaria for a kelp nursery

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 1:45pm

BELFAST — Belfast Area High School students and staff of the Belfast Marine Institute (BMI) have been hard at work at the start of the school year, said Charles Lagerbom. They have been preparing several seawater aquaria for a kelp nursery to grow the seaweed, complete with an appropriate lighting system, filters, chillers, insulation and pumps.

In the Marine Studies class students are supporting this effort by working with kelp recently collected by BMI divers. In the lab, students carefully separate and clean the sorus tissue from the rest of the blade. This tissue will produce spores that collect and then grow on spools of twine immersed in the seawater tanks. The growing process should take about 7-8 weeks at which point the kelp on the spools will be transplanted out to three 400-foot lines at the school's kelp farm off City Park. There it will continue to grow until harvested next March!

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