We support shellfish and kelp farming and have written our support for Suffolk County to both continue its lease program for aquaculture operations and to include the commercial cultivation of seaweed (kelp). Why include Kelp? -it’s a carbon sink, storing 20x more CO2 per acre than land forests. - a super-faster grower, reducing excess nitrogen , and providing habit for hundreds marine species. -a coastline safeguard, protecting coastlines from storm surges. -a super-food with fast-growing new market, being used for food. medicine, cosmetics, animal feed, biofuel, and even a new bio-plastic. You can buy from Atlantic Sea Farms , working with 2 dozen Maine lobstermen and fishermen. - a valuable fertilizer used on farms and in home gardens. Check out Soil and Seaweed: Farming Our Way to a Climate Solution . -a big win-win-win for the East End — Stony Brook has done the research finding sugar kelp (Saccharina latissma ) is able to grow using “commercial-style” techniques in all three of our estuaries. There is alot of interest in kelp as a second crop among Long Island’s three dozen oyster farmers. Right now other states permit commercial growing and New York only allows kelp growing for experimental use . And a local market cannot start to develop as sugar kelp is presently not permitted for human consumption in our state. General letter in support of the Aquaculture Lease Program can be sent either to Legislator Kara Hahn, Chair: Kara.Hahn@suffolkcountyny.gov and Legislator Al Krupski, Vice Chair: al.Krupski@suffolkcountyny.gov SC Environment, Parks and Agriculture (EPA) committee or the Legislative Clerk at Clerk.Legislature@suffolkcountyny.gov with the request that it be distributed to all the legislators. You can also sign and comment on this petition from the Long Island Oyster Growers Association, which highlights key facts: https://www.change.org/p/suffolk-county-legislature-support-the-expansion-and-continuation-of-the-suffolk-county-shellfish-aquaculture-program Won’t you join us in support of our shellfish farmers, and support the inclusion of commercial seaweed (kelp) cultivation.