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 A commercial fisherman who admitted to once pillaging the oceans has won the 2015 Fuller Challenge with a system that only grows restorative crops, such as seaweed and shellfish

A commercial fisherman who admitted to once pillaging the oceans has won the 2015 Fuller Challenge with a system that only grows restorative crops, such as seaweed and shellfish

 Both visionaries, Bren and Zan are helping to radically alter our relationship with both the ecology and economy of our marine systems...

Both visionaries, Bren and Zan are helping to radically alter our relationship with both the ecology and economy of our marine systems...

 Red Tape Slows Bloom of Seaweed Farming′s Green Revolution

Red Tape Slows Bloom of Seaweed Farming′s Green Revolution

 A new kind of crop is being planted in the United States, and it doesn′t require any land or fertilizer. Farming it improves the environment, and it can be used in a number of ways. So what is this miracle cash crop of the future?

A new kind of crop is being planted in the United States, and it doesn′t require any land or fertilizer. Farming it improves the environment, and it can be used in a number of ways. So what is this miracle cash crop of the future?

 Seaweed Special

Seaweed Special

 An Army of Ocean Farmers: On the Frontlines of the Blue-Green Economic Revolution

An Army of Ocean Farmers: On the Frontlines of the Blue-Green Economic Revolution

 Seaweed, Kelp and an Ocean of Culinary Possibilities

Seaweed, Kelp and an Ocean of Culinary Possibilities

 Ocean farmers are using technology to start an economic revolution and save humanity

Ocean farmers are using technology to start an economic revolution and save humanity

 This Sustainable ′Farm of the Future′ Is Changing How Food Is Grown

This Sustainable ′Farm of the Future′ Is Changing How Food Is Grown

 Connecticut′s ′Vertical Ocean Farmer′ Wants To Change World′s Food Supply System

Connecticut′s ′Vertical Ocean Farmer′ Wants To Change World′s Food Supply System

 Just because there are no more fish doesn’t mean the ocean is done as a food source. Because a small amount of ocean surface means a lot of space below, seaweed farms could be the food source of the future.

Just because there are no more fish doesn’t mean the ocean is done as a food source. Because a small amount of ocean surface means a lot of space below, seaweed farms could be the food source of the future.

 Things are not looking good in our oceans and seas, our bays and waterways, our rivers and streams. Not for the things that live in them and, increasingly, not for the people who live along them.

Things are not looking good in our oceans and seas, our bays and waterways, our rivers and streams. Not for the things that live in them and, increasingly, not for the people who live along them.

 Bren Smith, Making Kelp our New Hope: A former industrial fisherman on a quest for ecological redemption, Bren Smith has put together a new model of ocean farming that can both restore our oceans and feed the planet.

Bren Smith, Making Kelp our New Hope: A former industrial fisherman on a quest for ecological redemption, Bren Smith has put together a new model of ocean farming that can both restore our oceans and feed the planet.

 Bren Smith is no ordinary waterman. He’s out to revolutionize fishing, fight climate change, create jobs—and get you to eat seaweed.

Bren Smith is no ordinary waterman. He’s out to revolutionize fishing, fight climate change, create jobs—and get you to eat seaweed.

 Smith wants to change the impact we have not just on our land, but also on our oceans. His solution? Controlled, submarine gardens.

Smith wants to change the impact we have not just on our land, but also on our oceans. His solution? Controlled, submarine gardens.

 Just a few months ago, there was no Long Island Sound seaweed industry at all.

Just a few months ago, there was no Long Island Sound seaweed industry at all.

 Brendan Smith sees such challenges as opportunities.

Brendan Smith sees such challenges as opportunities.

 Oystering on Long Island Sound is not always a large enterprise. Early Thursday morning, I arrived at the Stony Creek docks to meet Brendan Smith of the Thimble Island Oyster Company. This is an independent, one-man operation, with Brendan (or Bren) serving as captain, deckhand, marketing director, and part-time mechanic.

Oystering on Long Island Sound is not always a large enterprise. Early Thursday morning, I arrived at the Stony Creek docks to meet Brendan Smith of the Thimble Island Oyster Company. This is an independent, one-man operation, with Brendan (or Bren) serving as captain, deckhand, marketing director, and part-time mechanic.

 Bren Smith is a shellfish and kelp farmer in the Thimble Island community of Branford. Smith has developed a unique shellfishing method for harvesting oysters.

Bren Smith is a shellfish and kelp farmer in the Thimble Island community of Branford. Smith has developed a unique shellfishing method for harvesting oysters.

 In a first for Long Island Sound, 120 pounds of kelp farmed in waters near the Thimble Islands has made its way to the plates and soupbowls of New York City restaurants.

In a first for Long Island Sound, 120 pounds of kelp farmed in waters near the Thimble Islands has made its way to the plates and soupbowls of New York City restaurants.

 Bren Smith′s innovative kelp farming may be the future of food.

Bren Smith′s innovative kelp farming may be the future of food.

 I met folks from the Yale Farm, one night at a dinner and started talking to the farm manager. Turns out we had a ton in common.

I met folks from the Yale Farm, one night at a dinner and started talking to the farm manager. Turns out we had a ton in common.

 More than three billion people on the planet depend on seafood for a critical portion of their diet’s protein.

More than three billion people on the planet depend on seafood for a critical portion of their diet’s protein.

 Bren Smith: growing plants and protein in the sea

Bren Smith: growing plants and protein in the sea

 Connecticut’s Shoreline Threat: How Vulnerable Areas are Responding to a Rising Ocean

Connecticut’s Shoreline Threat: How Vulnerable Areas are Responding to a Rising Ocean

 It’s a delicacy Asian cultures have enjoyed for centuries but is more commonly thought of as the slippery — and sometimes slimy — brown stuff that grows naturally in area waters and then washes up on beaches.

It’s a delicacy Asian cultures have enjoyed for centuries but is more commonly thought of as the slippery — and sometimes slimy — brown stuff that grows naturally in area waters and then washes up on beaches.

 Though regional cash crops are typically cultivated on land, aquaculturists are pushing state and county lawmakers to permit the growing and selling of sugar kelp, or seaweed.

Though regional cash crops are typically cultivated on land, aquaculturists are pushing state and county lawmakers to permit the growing and selling of sugar kelp, or seaweed.

 An excerpt from the book

An excerpt from the book

 ″It makes all these foods the most sustainable on the planet, and I will even argue that it will also be the most affordable food as land and water get more expensive,″ said Bren Smith.

″It makes all these foods the most sustainable on the planet, and I will even argue that it will also be the most affordable food as land and water get more expensive,″ said Bren Smith.

 “We were pumping the fish full of pesticides and antibiotics and packing them so they could barely swim. Their feces created a lot of pollution, and they tasted terrible. It was neither fish nor food, “

“We were pumping the fish full of pesticides and antibiotics and packing them so they could barely swim. Their feces created a lot of pollution, and they tasted terrible. It was neither fish nor food, “

 ′Ocean farmer′ helps tackle climate change

′Ocean farmer′ helps tackle climate change

 Shortly after noon on a blustery Saturday, Bren Smith parked his Toyota in the bike lane of a leafy side street in the West Village. Smith, the owner of Thimble Island Oyster Company, had been up since 4 A.M., when he’d gone out on Long Island Sound to harvest kelp, oysters, and clams on his forty-acre plot.

Shortly after noon on a blustery Saturday, Bren Smith parked his Toyota in the bike lane of a leafy side street in the West Village. Smith, the owner of Thimble Island Oyster Company, had been up since 4 A.M., when he’d gone out on Long Island Sound to harvest kelp, oysters, and clams on his forty-acre plot.

 How Underwater 3D Farms Could Revolutionize Food Production

How Underwater 3D Farms Could Revolutionize Food Production

 Eat Kelp. It’s chock-full of nutrients, it mitigates climate change by sequestering carbon, improves oceans by soaking up excess nitrogen and phosphorus, and has potential as a valuable fertilizer and biofuel.

Eat Kelp. It’s chock-full of nutrients, it mitigates climate change by sequestering carbon, improves oceans by soaking up excess nitrogen and phosphorus, and has potential as a valuable fertilizer and biofuel.

 For decades environmentalists have fought to save our oceans from the perils of overfishing, climate change, and pollution. All noble efforts -- but what if environmentalists have it backwards? What if the question is not how to save the oceans, but how the oceans can save us?

For decades environmentalists have fought to save our oceans from the perils of overfishing, climate change, and pollution. All noble efforts -- but what if environmentalists have it backwards? What if the question is not how to save the oceans, but how the oceans can save us?

 Bren Smith′s op-ed piece: ″AT a farm-to-table dinner recently, I sat huddled in a corner with some other farmers, out of earshot of the foodies happily eating kale and freshly shucked oysters.″

Bren Smith′s op-ed piece: ″AT a farm-to-table dinner recently, I sat huddled in a corner with some other farmers, out of earshot of the foodies happily eating kale and freshly shucked oysters.″

 Tricky Waters: How do we meet the demand for fish without depleting our oceans?

Tricky Waters: How do we meet the demand for fish without depleting our oceans?

 Experts are working to make seaweed the next kale

Experts are working to make seaweed the next kale

 Ocean farming goes in a new direction

Ocean farming goes in a new direction

 After more than a decade of witnessing damaging and destructive fishing practices as a commercial fisherman from Gloucester, MA to Alaska’s Bering Sea, Bren started the innovative Thimble Island Oyster Company in order to become a restorative ocean farmer.

After more than a decade of witnessing damaging and destructive fishing practices as a commercial fisherman from Gloucester, MA to Alaska’s Bering Sea, Bren started the innovative Thimble Island Oyster Company in order to become a restorative ocean farmer.

 The Seas Will Save Us: How an Army of Ocean Farmers Is Starting an Economic Revolution

The Seas Will Save Us: How an Army of Ocean Farmers Is Starting an Economic Revolution

 Kelp Is the Ocean′s Most Underutilized Power Ingredient

Kelp Is the Ocean′s Most Underutilized Power Ingredient

 Future Farming: The Gateway Drug of Sea Vegetables

Future Farming: The Gateway Drug of Sea Vegetables

 Could 3D seaweed farms save our climate and heal our oceans?

Could 3D seaweed farms save our climate and heal our oceans?

 The Next Kale

The Next Kale

 We have this exotic crop that′s also local. These chefs have gotten excited about making kelp ice cream and butter.

We have this exotic crop that′s also local. These chefs have gotten excited about making kelp ice cream and butter.

 Worried about the effects of overfishing, climate change and acidification on our oceans? Bren Smith of New York may have the answer to these problems.

Worried about the effects of overfishing, climate change and acidification on our oceans? Bren Smith of New York may have the answer to these problems.

 Ocean farming pioneer Bren Smith is promoting the ocean in quite a different way than many ocean conservationists: instead of carefully preserving pieces of the ocean, let’s turn it around and have the ocean save us.

Ocean farming pioneer Bren Smith is promoting the ocean in quite a different way than many ocean conservationists: instead of carefully preserving pieces of the ocean, let’s turn it around and have the ocean save us.

 ″Farming″ for oysters sounds funny, doesn′t it? But just as there are sustainable farms on land, sustainable ocean farms are the future of keeping our local waters clean.

″Farming″ for oysters sounds funny, doesn′t it? But just as there are sustainable farms on land, sustainable ocean farms are the future of keeping our local waters clean.

 We’ve written a certain amount about sustainable seafood, so yesterday the YSFP crew went out with Bren Smith, of the Thimble Island Oyster Co., to try our hands at oystering and see firsthand what it takes to get those mollusks from sea to table.

We’ve written a certain amount about sustainable seafood, so yesterday the YSFP crew went out with Bren Smith, of the Thimble Island Oyster Co., to try our hands at oystering and see firsthand what it takes to get those mollusks from sea to table.

 It’s a growing trend in the U.S., the farm to table movement. Restaurants team up with farmers, filling menus with fresh local meats and produce.

It’s a growing trend in the U.S., the farm to table movement. Restaurants team up with farmers, filling menus with fresh local meats and produce.

 My story is the story of ecological redemption.

My story is the story of ecological redemption.

 I can’t swim. A lot of fishermen where I’m from never learn. The water’s cold and we have a saying that it just prolongs your death. People can’t believe it, but, if you go down in the Grand Banks, just calm down and say goodbye.

I can’t swim. A lot of fishermen where I’m from never learn. The water’s cold and we have a saying that it just prolongs your death. People can’t believe it, but, if you go down in the Grand Banks, just calm down and say goodbye.

 The number of businesses supporting the local food movement is continuing to expand in Connecticut. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports on the state’s first community supported fishing venture.

The number of businesses supporting the local food movement is continuing to expand in Connecticut. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports on the state’s first community supported fishing venture.

 ″So, it’s food production, eco-system restoration, and then growing the green economy and education,″ says Bren.

″So, it’s food production, eco-system restoration, and then growing the green economy and education,″ says Bren.

 Bren discusses his approach to financially stabilizing his farms

Bren discusses his approach to financially stabilizing his farms

 The Water brothers stop by Bren′s farm.

The Water brothers stop by Bren′s farm.

 With 3D Ocean Farming, We Can Eat Sustainably While Restoring Our Oceans

With 3D Ocean Farming, We Can Eat Sustainably While Restoring Our Oceans

 Bioneering a Sustainable Sea Change with Ocean Farmer Bren Smith

Bioneering a Sustainable Sea Change with Ocean Farmer Bren Smith

 Bren Smith: Vertical ocean farming

Bren Smith: Vertical ocean farming

 Drones, Data and Insects: How Innovation Can Make the Food System More Sustainable

Drones, Data and Insects: How Innovation Can Make the Food System More Sustainable

 When Bren Smith became an “ocean farmer”

When Bren Smith became an “ocean farmer”

 Interview with Bren Smith

Interview with Bren Smith

 On Friday morning, I boarded a leaky oyster boat in Connecticut with a captain who can′t swim. Our destination: Manhattan, 84 miles down the coast. Mission: don′t drown & get world leaders to act on climate change.

On Friday morning, I boarded a leaky oyster boat in Connecticut with a captain who can′t swim. Our destination: Manhattan, 84 miles down the coast. Mission: don′t drown & get world leaders to act on climate change.

 The Seas Will Save Us: How an Army of Ocean Farmers are Starting an Economic Revolution

The Seas Will Save Us: How an Army of Ocean Farmers are Starting an Economic Revolution

 The Cleanest Line

The Cleanest Line

 Sustainable Seafood

Sustainable Seafood

 A fisherman’s plan to feed the world and reduce climate change

A fisherman’s plan to feed the world and reduce climate change

 Is Vertical Farming the Key to Sustainable Seafood?

Is Vertical Farming the Key to Sustainable Seafood?

 He grabbed a few handfuls of the green, nearly translucent variety of seaweed for samples he planned to serve at lunch with a chef and organic farmer. Mr. Smith, who has cultivated shellfish such as oysters and clams for years, is now also a seaweed farmer. He said his fellow fishermen have been skeptical.

He grabbed a few handfuls of the green, nearly translucent variety of seaweed for samples he planned to serve at lunch with a chef and organic farmer. Mr. Smith, who has cultivated shellfish such as oysters and clams for years, is now also a seaweed farmer. He said his fellow fishermen have been skeptical.

  This Former Fisherman Is Now Farming the Most Sustainable Food on Earth—Underwater

This Former Fisherman Is Now Farming the Most Sustainable Food on Earth—Underwater

 Ecological Redemption: Ocean Farming in the Era of Climate Change

Ecological Redemption: Ocean Farming in the Era of Climate Change

 Seaweed, once best known to most Americans as the papery green stuff in a California roll, has recently made the switch from niche health food to haute cuisine...

Seaweed, once best known to most Americans as the papery green stuff in a California roll, has recently made the switch from niche health food to haute cuisine...

 Last year, we supplied the first domestically produced seaweed ever served at a White House state dinner.

Last year, we supplied the first domestically produced seaweed ever served at a White House state dinner.

 He Made Kelp the New Kale, but This Seaweed Farmer Isn’t Done Yet

He Made Kelp the New Kale, but This Seaweed Farmer Isn’t Done Yet

 An interview with Bren Smith on BBC Radio

An interview with Bren Smith on BBC Radio

 Beyond Sustainability: GreenWave’s Regenerative Ocean Farm

Beyond Sustainability: GreenWave’s Regenerative Ocean Farm

 Natural Aquaculture: Can We Save Oceans by Farming Them?

Natural Aquaculture: Can We Save Oceans by Farming Them?

 The Underwater Farms That Could Help Stop the Death of Our Oceans

The Underwater Farms That Could Help Stop the Death of Our Oceans

 Recently a group of student interns and staff from the Yale Sustainable Food Project (YSFP) spent the day with Bren Smith, a commercial fisherman, environmental activitist, and creator of a sustainable shellfish and seaweed farm, aboard his boats in the Thimble Islands off Stony Creek in Branford, Connecticut.

Recently a group of student interns and staff from the Yale Sustainable Food Project (YSFP) spent the day with Bren Smith, a commercial fisherman, environmental activitist, and creator of a sustainable shellfish and seaweed farm, aboard his boats in the Thimble Islands off Stony Creek in Branford, Connecticut.

 The world’s oceans are experiencing a tough time. Overfishing, acidification from climate change, pollution, and dead zones have all become major challenges to the health of aquatic ecosystems around the globe.

The world’s oceans are experiencing a tough time. Overfishing, acidification from climate change, pollution, and dead zones have all become major challenges to the health of aquatic ecosystems around the globe.

 Along the shores of New York Harbor, scientists are investigating whether this ubiquitous bivalve can be grown in urban areas as a way of cleansing coastal waters of sewage, fertilizers, and other pollutants.

Along the shores of New York Harbor, scientists are investigating whether this ubiquitous bivalve can be grown in urban areas as a way of cleansing coastal waters of sewage, fertilizers, and other pollutants.

 When I went to visit Bren Smith’s Thimble Island Oyster Company to learn about the sad shape of the sea for the Apocalypse issue, I met all kinds of unexpected animals out there on the water.

When I went to visit Bren Smith’s Thimble Island Oyster Company to learn about the sad shape of the sea for the Apocalypse issue, I met all kinds of unexpected animals out there on the water.

 Stony Creek Harbor, in the southeast corner of Branford, Connecticut, quietly looks out on the rocky shores of the Thimble Islands in Long Island Sound.

Stony Creek Harbor, in the southeast corner of Branford, Connecticut, quietly looks out on the rocky shores of the Thimble Islands in Long Island Sound.

 This form of aquaculture replenishes the environment, rather than degrading it. “Oysters are these incredible engines of sustainability,” Mr. Smith said. “They filter 50 gallons of water a day and pull nitrogen from the water, all with zero input of freshwater, fertilizers and animal feed.”

This form of aquaculture replenishes the environment, rather than degrading it. “Oysters are these incredible engines of sustainability,” Mr. Smith said. “They filter 50 gallons of water a day and pull nitrogen from the water, all with zero input of freshwater, fertilizers and animal feed.”

 Yesterday we told you about the burgeoning practice of vertical farming, growing produce in towers as a way to save space and drastically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that go hand in hand with factory farming.

Yesterday we told you about the burgeoning practice of vertical farming, growing produce in towers as a way to save space and drastically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that go hand in hand with factory farming.

 From sorbet to oysters, there is a bumper crop of food startups that hit the streets just in time for summer.

From sorbet to oysters, there is a bumper crop of food startups that hit the streets just in time for summer.

 Goodbye, tuna. So long, cod. Hello, pangasius and kelp! These are the seafoods — and sea organisms — we are likely to be eating in the future.

Goodbye, tuna. So long, cod. Hello, pangasius and kelp! These are the seafoods — and sea organisms — we are likely to be eating in the future.

 Bren Smith, owner of Connecticut-based Thimble Island Oyster Company, and director of the organization Greenwave started growing kelp and shellfish as a reaction to several crises he faced in his own life: overfishing, climate change, and rampant unemployment in the fishing industry.

Bren Smith, owner of Connecticut-based Thimble Island Oyster Company, and director of the organization Greenwave started growing kelp and shellfish as a reaction to several crises he faced in his own life: overfishing, climate change, and rampant unemployment in the fishing industry.

 Bren Smith, owner of Connecticut-based Thimble Island Oyster Company, and director of the organization Greenwave started growing kelp and shellfish as a reaction to several crises he faced in his own life: overfishing, climate change, and rampant unemployment in the fishing industry.

Bren Smith, owner of Connecticut-based Thimble Island Oyster Company, and director of the organization Greenwave started growing kelp and shellfish as a reaction to several crises he faced in his own life: overfishing, climate change, and rampant unemployment in the fishing industry.

 Brendan Smith sidles his small fishing boat, Mookie, alongside a row of basketball-size black buoys, bobbing barely a mile off Branford in the Thimble Island section of Long Island Sound.

Brendan Smith sidles his small fishing boat, Mookie, alongside a row of basketball-size black buoys, bobbing barely a mile off Branford in the Thimble Island section of Long Island Sound.

 Brendan talks about the value of local sourcing of food.

Brendan talks about the value of local sourcing of food.

 “Kelp is a game-changer,” said Bren, “It is so resilient, fast-growing and does all of these powerful things.”

“Kelp is a game-changer,” said Bren, “It is so resilient, fast-growing and does all of these powerful things.”

 “In a way, it’s exciting, because our backs are against the wall. We have to innovate,” Smith explains.

“In a way, it’s exciting, because our backs are against the wall. We have to innovate,” Smith explains.

 Branford man is taking his farm underwater

Branford man is taking his farm underwater

 Kelp farmer seeking to expand to Stonington Harbor

Kelp farmer seeking to expand to Stonington Harbor

  Stories From Main Street: Connecticut Ocean Farmer Hopes To Make Kelp The New Kale

Stories From Main Street: Connecticut Ocean Farmer Hopes To Make Kelp The New Kale