Looking to build up the kelp crop


From Robert Whitcomb’s “Digital Diary,’’ in GoLocal24.com

Kudos to David Blaney, who’s starting the Point Judith Kelp Co., which, in a saltwater 2.75-acre farm, will grow a seaweed useful as a food, as fertilizer for land crops, for cosmetics and that absorbs nitrogen (which in large doses, such as runoff from lawns, can be a very bad pollutant) and carbon dioxide. In his project, he’s joining other local companies that are growing kelp.

There was a charming profile of Mr. Blaney in ecoRI News on Oct. 13. As man-made climate change warms coastal waters, some fish species will move away. It’s important that we find alternate crops that can thrive in southern New England waters. Mr. Blaney, ecoRI reports, thinks about the water eventually getting too warm for kelp. But such warmer-water plant species as Irish moss and sea lettuce are a hedge. As global warming proceeds, we’ll need all the diversification we can get.

To read the Blaney profile, please hit this link.

It’s such small enterprises that take advantage of Rhode Island’s location and other comparative advantages, that hold out hope for Rhode Island’s long-term prosperity as it tries to recover from its far too long dependence on old manufacturing industries and low-paid service jobs.