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Special Events and Honors

Posted on: May 25, 2021

Supervisor Romaine and Councilmember Kornreich Support Setauket Harbor Task Force Sugar Kelp Project

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Farmingville, NY – On May 20, Supervisor Ed Romaine (center right) and Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (center left) were at Port Jefferson Harbor during the harvest of Sugar Kelp with members of the Setauket Harbor Task Force (SHTF), including Trustee George Hoffman (left) and Chairwoman Laurie Vetere. The SHTF and Brookhaven Town Bay constables harvested over 200 lbs. of sugar kelp which was placed in mesh bags and weighed. It was then sent to Stony Brook University marine sciences labs for analysis. The Setauket Harbor Task Force is a local non-profit environmental association that promotes clean water and resilient harbors. On November 19, 2020 the Brookhaven Town Board adopted Resolution 2020-0609, classifying the sugar kelp project in Setauket Harbor as a "Program for Public Good.” The benefits of growing and harvesting Sugar Kelp in local harbors are many and include:

  • Sugar kelp takes in excess nitrogen and CO2 from harbor waters improving the chemistry of the water. Excess nitrogen causes harmful algae bloom and excess CO2, resulting in ocean acidification.
  • Sugar kelp is packed with protein and it is used for animal feed, natural fertilizer and food additives and specialty foods.
  • Sugar Kelp is tasty (used as umami food flavoring).
  • Sugar Kelp is nutritious and packed with potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron and contains more soluble fiber than most fruits and vegetables.
  • Sugar Kelp is sustainable, its fast growing, uses no fertilizer, pesticides, freshwater or arable land.

In December 2020 the Setauket Harbor Task Force with the assistance of the Town of Brookhaven Bay Constables, dropped mooring anchors and set up the kelp growing field’s area in Setauket Harbor. In January 2021, they attached the kelp seedlings to a line just under the surface of the water between buoys in Setauket Harbor.

Sugar Kelp Harvest group photo

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