Community Kelp

This is a communication project that aims to interpret the positive economical and ecological effects that kelp aquaculture has locally. The way this is achieved is by exhibiting kelp gardens, creating educational panels and collaborating with other communities that share our goals to spark curiosity and action in the general public to find local creative methods to mitigate ocean acidification.




Humanities and Social Sciences


ENVS 2100 W01


  • Mike Smith-Cairns
  • Jennifer Weldon

City of Vancouver:

  • Brad Badelt

Student Team:

  • Shaia Brites
  • Patt Schavarosk
  • Ruedi Mani
  • Preet Bahia


  • Greenest City Action Plan


Fall 2020



Ocean acidification (OA) is an issue on BC’s coast. Due to the absorption of carbon dioxide, the oceans become acidic, threatening the local coastal biodiversity. A promising method to combat this crisis is by growing kelp as it sequesters significant amounts of carbon, mitigating OA.

Community Kelp intends to develop a kelp garden exposition in Vancouver that locals can observe and maintain throughout the growing season which lasts from Fall until Spring. This garden will spark community engagement and bring to light the issue of OA and the prospect of developing more kelp gardens and farms throughout BC’s coast. Kelp has a long history of cultivation in Indigenous societies in Vancouver. By partnering with Indigenous communities, the project hopes to integrate traditional Indigenous knowledge along with current scientific knowledge to combat the crisis of OA.

A community kelp garden coincides with current City strategies. It will play a part in the research currently being conducted in Vancouver by the Ocean Acidification Alliance. Along with this, it will add another restorative space to go along with the development of the Northeast False Creek Plan, contributing to local access to nature as a part of the Greenest City Action Plan (goal 5) and it will sequester carbon (goal 1). By coinciding with these strategies, the project intends to spark education and creativity regarding the combating of OA and re-integration of kelp on our coast. Because kelp filters water gardening is aligned with the Rain City Strategy’s ambitious goal of cleaning 90% of Vancouver’s water by 2022.

Community Kelp hopes to inspire more people to recognize the effects of kelp farming and to eventually host a number of kelp farms in British Columbia in order to grow kelp as a variety of useful products and as a mitigator of ocean acidification.

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