A crop from the ocean floor

Paul Dobbins is co-owner of Ocean Approved, what is believed to be the nation's only kelp farm. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Paul Dobbins is co-owner of Ocean Approved, what is believed to be the nation's only kelp farm. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Two kelp farmers in Maine hope to get a piece of a $7-billion global seaweed industry.

Reporting from Falmouth, Maine – Paul Dobbins and Tollef Olson admit they still have a kink in their scheme to use seaweed to revolutionize American eating habits, clean the environment, lower the federal trade deficit and make themselves fabulously rich.

Call it the yuck factor.

“It tastes better than it looks,” said Olson, holding a shimmering frond of brown horsetail kelp he had just plucked from the cold gray waters of Casco Bay. “Really.”

Dobbins and Olson run what is believed to be America’s only commercial kelp farm. Inspired by mega-aquaculture sites in Asia, and a $7-billion global seaweed industry, the two entrepreneurs started cultivating kelp here last year and have begun marketing it as an exotic frozen vegetable.

“It’s a giant brown algae in the water, but it turns bright green when it’s cooked,” Olson said. “Think kelp noodles. And kelp salad. And kelp slaw.”

To read full article by Bob Drogin go to LATimes.com

Reclaiming Oil Rigs as Oceanic Eco-Resorts

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Morris Architects, a Houston-based architecture and design firm, recently took top honors for two of their submissions in the Radical Innovation in Hospitality design competition. The grand prize winner, the Oil Rig Platform Resort and Spa makes use of one of 4,000 oil rigs out in the Gulf of Mexico and transforms it into a luxurious eco-resort and spa. We love how the inspired renovation takes an iconic source of dirty energy and converts it to an eco-haven that generates all of its power from renewable sources.

To read complete article by Bridgette Steffen go to inhabitat.com

So Much to Learn About the Oceans From Sand

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CORVALLIS, Ore. — As a young geophysicist in the 1980s, Rob Holman attended a conference in San Francisco that included a field trip to a beach. Dr. Holman, who grew up inland, in Ottawa, stared at the ocean, assessing the strengths and vectors of the waves and currents. But when he looked around, everyone else was studying the sand.
He realized, he recalled, that “sand is not the same everywhere.” So he started collecting it. “I collected a few samples and put them in jars,” he said. “Then I had so many I built a rack. Then I built three more racks. Then I built four more.”

To read complete article by Cornelia Dean go to NYTimes.com

Honolulu to air condition buildings with seawater

A new green project called Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning (HSWAC) proposes to cool down buildings with seawater, rather than fossil fuel-based air conditioning units, and it is getting some serious green to back it. Private investors have put up nearly $11 M, completing the funding effort for the $152 M project, with about half of the final funding coming from investors from Honolulu. Construction on the project is set to start the first week of January, 2009.

Go to original by Jaymi Heimbuch, EcoGeek.com