Five local elementary schools harvested their seaweed crop April 25 as part of a Boothbay Sea and Science Center research project. In September, the Center provided Edgecomb Eddy, Boothbay Region, Wiscasset, Southport Central and Whitefield elementary schools with equipment needed for growing seaweed seedlings in their classrooms.
For six weeks, students studied seaweed growth in two controlled environments. Two tanks had seawater provided by Bigelow Laboratories in East Boothbay. Three tanks were filled with man-made seawater. During the classroom phase, students checked water salinity and pH levels. In December, students brought two three-foot sections of seedlings to the Sea and Science Center for ocean planting. Last week, students saw how each seedling had grown in seawater.
“This experiment allows students to compare and contrast seaweed growing patterns. They see which patterns are more sustainable and how they grow after planting. It also assists us with our seaweed research at the center,” said Boothbay Sea and Science Center Executive Director Pauline Dion.