Ocean Regenerative Nursery is Up and Running
December 14, 2020
The collaboration between Magee Secondary School and ORA has successfully managed to grow healthy sporophytes in their controlled pilot nursery. After some unforeseen circumstances put a halt on things during the prime weeks of the fertile sori collection stage, the project is back on track and is successfully cultivating over 100 meters of healthy seed line with the help of Canadian Kelp Resources (CKR).
Science department head Colin Mayer is working with the students to ensure proper data recording and quality control measures are maintained throughout the process, and engineering head Andrew Robinson is continuing to facilitate improvements to the infrastructure design. Over the last week, some spools have demonstrated growth of up to 1 mm! This might sound insignificant considering sugar kelp can grow up to 15 feet long in just a matter of months, however, the team is excited to see a healthy survival rate continue through this phase. When students return from their winter break, it will be time to deploy the seed line into the ocean. According to one of ORA’s head advisors, Louis Druehl, the best time to plant seed in the ocean is before the winter solstice, however the window of opportunity can extend into the first few weeks of January.
ORA is currently working with the provincial government and the DFO to understand the regulation of testing waters in Howe Sound and the Salish Sea on non-tenured areas for kelp growth, and hope to use the line cultivated in the nursery to conduct these experiments. Stay tuned for updates on this project. In the beginning of December, ORA deployed its first pilot line across various regions in BC, and will use this data to determine the appropriate site for its first commercial farm. Check out these stories in the “News” section of our website.