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Connecticut's kelp industry is growing, with a focus on sustainability

Stonington Kelp Co. harvests sugar kelp from their regenerative ocean farm.
Elizabeth Ellenwood
Stonington Kelp Co. harvests sugar kelp from their regenerative ocean farm.

The National Marine Fisheries Service says seaweed farming is the fastest-growing aquaculture in the U.S.

Suzie Flores and her husband Jay Douglass launched Stonington Kelp Co. in 2017, and now run the largest commercial kelp farm in Connecticut. Stonington Kelp Co. is also a "regenerative ocean farm."

Kelp helps to absorb carbon and nitrogen from the water as it grows, "resulting in a nutrient-dense super food that helps clean the ocean."

This hour, we hear from Flores as well as Connecticut Sea Grant's Anoushka Concepcion to discuss the benefits of growing sugar kelp, and sustainable fishing and farming in the Long Island Sound.

Concepcion developed a food safety guide for Connecticut seaweed, and is focused on the broader seaweed aquaculture industry.

Plus, the Shipwright’s Daughter is one restaurant using its buying power to push for sustainable fishing and farming. Executive Chef David Standridge joins.


  • Anoushka Concepcion: Extension Educator in Marine Aquaculture, Connecticut Sea Grant and UConn Extension System
  • Suzie Flores: Principal Owner, Stonington Kelp Co.
  • David Standridge: Executive Chef, The Shipwright's Daughter Restaurant

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Cat Pastor contributed to this show which originally aired June 10, 2022

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Katie is a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show 'Where We Live.' She has previously worked for CNN and News 8-WTNH.
Lucy leads Connecticut Public's strategies to deeply connect and build collaborations with community-focused organizations across the state.