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Seaweed Solution

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Louis Druehl is a seaweed farmer. He lives and works in Bamfield, British Columbia. That’s in Canada. He has been farming kelp since 1982. Kelp is a brown seaweed.

Louis Druehl (above) works at a seaweed farm, where long ropes of seaweed grow under the water.

TOBY REEVE

Druehl has studied seaweed. He’s cooked seaweed. He’s even written a book about it. Druehl says the world is turning to seaweed as a solution to climate change climate change Polar Bear PAUL SOUDERS—GETTY IMAGES changes in the Earth’s weather patterns (noun) The sea ice that polar bears hunt from is melting due to climate change. . “People have discovered seaweed,” he told TIME. “They’ve discovered us.”

DOUGLAS KLUG—GETTY IMAGES

Super Seaweed

Seaweed can be used to make fuel. It can also be used to make renewable renewable IMAGEVIXEN/GETTY IMAGES able to be replaced by nature (adjective) Windmills create electricity using wind, which is a renewable resource. plastics. Plus, it takes carbon out of the environment. This is good for the health of the planet.

Bamfield sits at the edge of the water.

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Some researchers say seaweed is even better for the environment than trees are. Seaweed doesn’t need fertilizers fertilizer LISA HUBBARD/GETTY IMAGES something that is added to soil to help plants grow (noun) My dad puts fertilizer on our lawn once a week. . It doesn’t need fresh water or land. And it grows fast.

Rae Hopkins is Louis Druehl’s cofounder at Canadian Kelp Resources. Here, she hangs seaweed to dry.

JAMES MACDONALD—BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES

Seaweed could also be a global food source. Carlos Duarte is a professor of ecology ecology PW-ecology PEOPLEIMAGES—GETTY IMAGES the study of how living things in an environment affect one another (noun) The scientist studies plant ecology. . “To feed the world population by 2050, in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, there is only one pathway,” he says. “Seaweed farming.”

Seaweed farming is not new. Native native PW NATIVE ADAM JONES—GETTY IMAGES coming from a particular place (adjective) Bald eagles are native to North America. people of Canada have been farming it for thousands of years. Many of them have left the area to find work. Now, a booming seaweed industry could bring jobs to many people. This includes those who lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Possible Problems

CHUCK DAVIS—GETTY IMAGES

Seaweed may slow climate change. But there are risks. When it rots, it releases carbon. And too much seaweed could affect how much light reaches underwater creatures.

Halley Froehlich works at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She says seaweed “can be a part of the solution” to climate change. But it’s not a solution on its own.

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