The Town of Southampton Sustainability Committee and Drawdown East End are hosting a Zoom forum on “Advancing Kelp Farming on the East End To Accelerate a Local Blue-Green Economy” next Tuesday, March 30 from 6 to 7:15 p.m.

The groups have invited expert guests to discuss how we can encourage kelp farming and other small-scale restorative operations to benefit human and environmental health, and our local economy.  

Special guests include Dr. Christopher Gobler, Stony Brook University; Sean Barrett, Dock to Dish, Eat More Kelp; Scott Bluedorn, artist, East Hampton Energy and Sustainability Committee.

Dieter von Lehsten, Co-Chair, Southampton Town Sustainability Committee will lead the discussion, which will be moderated by Krae Van Sickle, Drawdown East End, and Mark Haubner, North Fork Environmental Council.

Kelp farming is one of several Ocean Solutions to reverse global warming identified by Project Drawdown, a climate resource project devoted to reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. 

For the East End, kelp is a nature-based solution that advances a new economy based on regenerative business practices (not polluting or extractive).

“We need a new paradigm for doing business while ensuring the regeneration of  biodiversity and all Nature, which sustains us.” said Mark Haubner, who serves on the steering team of Drawdown East End and as Vice President of the North Fork Environmental Council.   

Sean Barrett, founder of Dock to Dish says “for many years we have been working hard to bring small-scale restorative kelp farming operations to the east end of Long Island for all of the obvious reasons. If rolled out properly, there will be undeniable short- and long-term benefits for our coastal communities and local economies combined with much needed solutions to the ongoing and worsening ecological crises we all face here.” 

“On top of that, leading scientists, like Dr Chris Gobler at Stony Brook University and Dr Jennifer Jacquet at NYU, have made it clear that in order to truly begin drawing down carbon levels and reversing global warming, we need to act fast and focus on solutions that will have quantifiable impacts,” he added. “The opportunity to develop a responsible community of small-scale kelp farming operations on the east end that will aggressively sequester carbon and nitrogen in the coming years is one big step forward in the direction that science is telling us that we need to go.” 

 “I believe kelp aquaculture will be a powerful asset in building a new equitable, resilient and bioregenerative industry for the East End, that will reactivate a working waterfront and bring aid to the fisherfolk who need it while aiding in the struggle against climate change,” said East Hampton artist and environmentalist Scott Bluedorn.

The event is part of a continuing series designed by Drawdown East End co-founder Darr Reilly “to to start a community conversation about ways we can create the future we want, and how we can start now to take actions that transition us into a regenerative, circular economy for all.”

The groups are urging members of the public to sign a petition to legalize kelp farming.  Add your name (and/or your organization) to the campaign directly on the Legalize Kelp Farming in New York State page at For more information, please contact Mary Morgan:

Join Zoom Meeting Tuesday, March 30, 2021, 6pm-715pm 

Join the Zoom Here:

Meeting ID: 850 3070 3579

Passcode: 3302021

One tap mobile:

+16465588656,,85030703579# US (New York)

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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