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Blue + Green Session 2: Kelp and the Bioeconomy

May 15 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Blue + Green Session 2: Kelp and the Bioeconomy

Moderated by Janet Kubler Featuring AltaSeads Conservancy and Marine BioLogics



The Blue + Green 2024 series is a 4 part monthly series taking place virtually in celebrating of Earth Day beginning Thursday April 25, 2024 and ending July 16, 2024

The goal of the project is to shine a spotlight on emerging aquaculture sector in our economy. Aquaculture and the supporting technologies bring together all the key ingredients – future growth opportunities that support our coastal ecosystems, the economy, jobs, and our communities. This webinar series reimagines partnerships between business, government, universities, and communities through regenerative ocean research, exploration, and equity-based economic development.

You are registering to attend Session 2: Kelp and the BioEconomy to be held virtually on Wednesday May 15, 2024 from 2pm-3pm

Kelp and the bioeconomy involve using kelp seaweed as a sustainable resource to create various products like food, biofuels, pharmaceuticals, and bioplastics. This concept taps into the ecological and economic benefits of kelp cultivation to drive sustainability and innovation.

Panel Discussion on the Economic Benefits of Developing a Kelp Bioeconomy will examine how developing a kelp bioeconomy can create jobs, generate revenue for coastal communities, and diversify marine industries beyond traditional fisheries.

Kelp Farming Potential: Explore the fast growth and versatility of kelp species for biomass production, their role in combating ocean acidification, and their support for marine biodiversity.

Ecological Benefits: Discuss how kelp farming aids ecosystem health by capturing carbon, offering habitats for marine life, and enhancing water quality by absorbing nutrients.

Product Innovations: Highlight kelp-based products like seaweed snacks, alginate food additives, eco-friendly packaging materials, and biofertilizers, emphasizing their environmental benefits and market opportunities.


Janet Kübler, PhD

Janet has been studying the biology of seaweeds for more than three decades, since she first snorkeled in the kelp forests of the pacific northwest. She is an expert on the effects of changing climate on seaweeds and is currently working to develop aquaculture of seaweed species that will be resilient to climate change. She lives in Southern California and is a Founder, President, and Co-Executive director of the California Seaweed Festival an in-person family friendly non-profit event celebrating the seaweed diversity of California. The 5th Annual California Seaweed Festival, October 18, 19 and 20, 2024 in the gorgeous Humboldt Bay communities of Samoa, Arcata, Eureka and Trinidad, California! This year’s theme is “Biodiversity and Aquaculture on the North Coast.”

Simona Augyte, Research Director, Marine BioLogics

Experienced marine biologist & entrepreneur specializing in renewable energy, aquaculture development and ocean conservation. Accomplished in strategic planning and successfully managing innovative energy R&D projects. Proven ability to design, build and lead mission-driven organizations, develop high-performance teams, and fundraise. Technical expertise in seaweed breeding, cultivation, and genetics in both cold temperate and tropical coastal ecosystems. She has a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut, and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Botany from Humboldt State University, CA.

Michael Marty-Rivera, Seedbank Collection Curator, AltaSeads Conservancy

As the seedbank collection curator at AltaSeads Conservancy he is currently engaged in increasing their collection by collaborating with seaweed enthusiasts worldwide. He has a background in environmental sciences, with a master’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico. Focusing on coastal environments, he has been working with photosynthetic organisms since 2013. For the past five years, he was part of a breeding program for Sugar Kelp on the U.S. East Coast funded by the Department of Energy’s ARPAe Mariner Program. In which he was tasked with creating and maintaining a collection of over 1,200 individuals as well as providing support on research for a novel technique to isolate kelp meiospores, directly seeding kelp into rope to eliminate seedstring use, using bio stimulants to promote healthier gametophytes and sporophytes.

Santa Monica College’s new Aquaculture certificate program will provide career opportunities that grow the economy while promoting underwater sustainability for a healthier planet to develop the workforce in parallel with the expanding industry sector in California. This panel will have a dual purpose of both attracting potential students to this program and engaging and educating community members about the merits of aquaculture expansion in the state of California. Adequate social license around aquaculture is one of the keys to a successful Blue Economy in our state.

Blue + Green Planning Committee

Meredith Brooks – Strategic Grants & Special Projects Manager, AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

Dorothy Cardenas – Community Partnerships Manager, AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

Jade Clemmons – BlueSea Director, AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

Mariana Hernandez, Program Manager, Industry Cluster Development, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation

Ferris Kawar – Sustainability Director, Santa Monica Community College

Janet E. Kübler, Ph.D. – Biology Department, California State University of Northridge

Jose Pelayo, Director, Workforce Development, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation

Alex Tower, Life Science Professor, Biology, Santa Monica Community College