Indigenous Seaweed Farming: Kwiakah First Nation
Indigenous Seaweed Farming
There are several reasons why the Kwiakah are taking this approach. First, they want to ensure that kelp forests are available for future generations. Second, they want to protect the marine environment. Third, they want to create a sustainable economic future for their community.
The Kwiakah’s approach to indigenous seaweed farming is based on their traditional knowledge and values. The band has a long history of living off the land and sea. They know the importance of protecting the environment, and they are committed to creating a sustainable future for their community.
Kelp cultivation has a number of environmental benefits. Kelp forests absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which helps to mitigate climate change. Kelp also provides a habitat for a variety of marine life. In addition, kelp can be used to produce various products, including food, fertilizer, and biofuel.
Kelp forests are facing a number of challenges, including climate change, pollution, and overfishing. Climate change is causing the ocean to become warmer and more acidic, which is making it difficult for kelp to grow. Pollution from runoff from farms and cities is also harming kelp forests. Overfishing is another major threat to kelp forests.
But despite these challenges, growing and harvesting kelp is worth the struggle for the economic benefits it provides.
Jobs and Economic Opportunities
The Kwiakah are using their unique approach to indigenous seaweed farming to create a sustainable future for their community. The band is repurposing an old fish farm into a kelp farm. The farm will be used to grow kelp for food, fertilizer, and biofuel. The Kwiakah are also working to educate the public about the importance of kelp forests and the need to conserve them.
Kelp cultivation creates jobs and economic opportunities for Indigenous communities. Indigenous seaweed farming is a relatively new industry, but it is growing rapidly. As the demand for kelp products increases, more people will be needed to grow, harvest, and process kelp. This could provide much-needed jobs for Indigenous communities, many of which have high unemployment rates.
On Eastern Long Island in New York, Shinnecock First Nation kelp farmers began planting kelp in December of 2021. They started small, with a manageable 20 spools of kelp and a year later, they had harvested 100 pounds. Most of the first batch was dried and sold as a natural fertilizer. They then donated excess spores to be used to help start other kelp farms. They have now expanded their operations from 20 spools of kelp to 200.
Since beginning operations, Shinnecock First Nation members have noticed that the water appears clearer, and wildlife are now returning. The group plans on hiring additional farmers from the nation bringing economic prosperity and stability to people that have been marginalized for too long.
In addition to the environmental benefits of kelp cultivation, the Kwiakah’s approach also has the potential to create jobs and economic opportunities for Indigenous communities. Indigenous seaweed farming is a relatively new industry, but it is growing rapidly. As the demand for kelp products increases, more people will be needed to grow, harvest, and process kelp. This could provide much-needed jobs for Indigenous communities, many of which have high unemployment rates.
The Kwiakah’s approach to indigenous seaweed farming is an example of how Indigenous communities can use their traditional knowledge and values to create a sustainable future. By taking a slow, intentional approach and focusing on conservation, the Kwiakah ensure that kelp forests will be available for future generations. This is an important lesson for other Indigenous communities who are considering entering the kelp cultivation industry.
Source Happy Eco NewsJune 28, 2023