Sustainability

It's no secret that Kelpy  is an amazing snack, but it also provides a unique solution to the decline of our ocean ecosystems. 

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                                    The Problem In our Oceans

Ocean water quality, and consequently coastal ecosystems, have taken a big hit in recent decades. Industrial and Agricultural runoff from fertilizer and waste material pour into rivers all across the nation, eventually making its way to the coast. This nutrient-dense water causes a process called eutrophication, where massive amounts of algae propagate and eventually die, consuming the available oxygen.

As outlined in the figure above, this oxygen depletion has detrimental and far-reaching effects on the surrounding ecosystem. Dead Zones, as seen at the mouth of the Mississippi River (above) are the end result. Fish and other organisms can no longer survive. Not only does this mean struggling ecosystems, but a damaged fishing industry and an overall decline in biodiversity. 

 

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the Solution

KELP! In fact, Kelpy began as a class project aiming to find a way to stop these harmful effects of pollution at the mouth of the Mississippi. Kelp, we found, is by far the best solution...not only in the Gulf, but along all our coastlines experiencing the same problem. the very nutrients that cause eutrophication, Nitrates and Phosphates, are food for kelp. It absorbs these nutrients that would otherwise harm the environment. Growing kelp in or near eutrophic areas greatly increases the overall water quality. In fact, shellfish farmers are beginning to also grow kelp because it allows for a healthier and more sustainable farm. 

Kelp, however, is largely unknown in the USA. This is why we created KELPY. Kelp, as it turns out, is also very tasty and incredibly healthy for humans to eat! Here at Kelpy, we source from local kelp farms to create a healthy and delectable snack, while also creating a market for this previously unknown plant. By making Kelpy a successful business, we aim to encourage new kelp farms to form and take part in this movement. 

Additionally, we hope to popularize the trend of ocean agriculture. Although Land agriculture is an important part of our economy and appetite. it does more harm than good by means of fertilizers and massive fresh water use. Kelp, on the other hand, does not require any fertilizers or fresh water to grow. Plus, Kelp absorbs 5x the amount of CO2 that trees do, making the entire kelp production process carbon negative! 

Basically.... Kelp is a supercrop and superfood!