by Cody Pitz, Agricultural Systems Management major
As algal blooms continue to affect oxygen-rich waters, developing technology could turn unwanted algae growth into an energy source. Many types of seaweed have been eaten by humans for centuries. Energy created by farming algae could accompany seaweed cuisine as a positive effect algae growth has on our environment. An alga is also able to light up oceans in the nighttime as they respond to crashing waves.
President Obama is a supporter of developing technologies that would utilize the over-abundance of algae we have in our water systems today. Algae have the capability to retain energy that is absorbed by marine life when grazing on algae or zooplankton that has been consuming algae. The acids that are produced by algae are the same found in fish oil supplements used to alleviate joint pain. Algae’s ability to prosper with so little is one of the attractive factors that have also had negative impacts on our environment.
This blog post was an assignment for Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.