The nonprofit Native Conservancy has started a program to empower and equip young Indigenous people with the resources and training to start their own kelp farms. The goal is threefold: creating economic opportunities, supporting the health of the ocean, and connecting people to a traditional food source. The ecologically restorative benefits of growing kelp are well documented: Kelp grows in the ocean and requires no land, fresh water or fertilizer. In contrast, it takes 108 gallons of water to produce one pound of corn and 216 gallons to produce one pint of soybeans. Kelp can also sequester carbon up to 50 times faster than terrestrial forests, which means it’s a powerful tool in countering the impacts of climate change, such as acidification and warming. By supporting young Native kelp farmers, the Conservancy wants to empower communities to decide their own fate.

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