A team of researchers from UC Santa Barbara has proposed a novel strategy for reducing large amounts of nutrients—specifically nitrogen and phosphorous—after they have already been released into the environment.
In a study appearing in the journal Marine Policy, the authors contend that seaweed’s incredible ability to draw nutrients from the water could provide an efficient and cost-effective solution. Looking at the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the team identified over 63,000 square kilometers suitable for seaweed aquaculture.
Cultivated seaweed could draw down available nutrients, the authors claim, limiting the resources for unchecked growth of nuisance algae and microbes. Seaweed also produces oxygen, which could alleviate the development of hypoxic dead zones.
Source: UC Santa Barbara