MLML Aquaculture Facility featured in Monterey Herald

The SJSU/MLML Aquaculture Facility was featured in the latest issue of the Monterey Herald! Drs. Michael Graham and Luke Gardner were both interviewed regarding the future of aquaculture and the impacts of Covid-19 on the industry. The MLML Aquaculture Facility aims to develop novel technologies for enhancing the sustainability and productivity of current aquaculture practices through research, education, and policy initiatives.

Read the Monterey Herald article, titled "Is pandemic giving aquaculture a jump start?", here.

How urchin ranching can help kelp

Students in the Spring Aquaculture class at Moss Landing Marine Labs worked together to test whether sea urchins removed from barrens could be used for food. The class was led by California Sea Grant Extension Specialist Luke Gardner and the diet-experiment lasted 10 weeks. The class built the culture system from the ground up and got an unforgettable hands-on learning experience.
"This class experiment gave a group of novice aquaculturists a chance to raise marine organisms and demonstrate how aquaculture can benefit nearshore ecosystems," wrote Helaina Lindsey in her blog post on California Sea Grant's website regarding the experiment.
To learn more, you can read Helaina's full article here.

Dr. Luke Gardner gives insight on how seaweed aquaculture can change our oceans

"Native seaweed has the potential to be cultivated in California coastal waters and used to alleviate the effects of local ocean acidification, according to a new study funded by California Sea Grant. Besides providing a local and sustainable source of food, researchers and aquaculture producers are exploring how seaweed production may benefit its surrounding environment."
A recent article posted on California Sea Grant's blog details exciting research linking local seaweed aquaculture with the reduction of ocean acidification and pollution. MLML's resident aquaculture specialist, Luke Gardner, was quoted in the article describing how this new area of research is important for ecosystem health.

“A growing body of scientific research indicates seaweed aquaculture can provide ecosystem services that contribute to the reduction of local ocean acidification and assist with pollution remediation,” said California Sea Grant Aquaculture Specialist and Scripps Institution of Oceanography/Moss Landing Marine Laboratories researcher Luke Gardner."

To learn more about this research, read the full article here.

Dr. Michael Graham’s land-based seaweed farm is in high demand

MLML's Dr. Michael Graham has been earning some well-deserved attention for his innovative land-based seaweed farm. Monterey Bay Seaweeds provides seaweed for many high-end restaurants in the area. Chefs and foodies alike are raving about the seaweed grown at the farm. An article by the "Grub Hunter," Mike Hale in the Monterey Bay Herald dives in to what makes this seaweed so special.


“The original idea was to see how our family could maybe do some seaweed farming,” said Graham. “We ran into a few hurdles and eventually built a market that never existed — edible seaweed delivered live and raw, in seawater, not modified in any way, fresh out of the ocean.”
Chef Justin Cogley from Carmel’s Aubergine, arguably the finest restaurant on the Peninsula, has Graham on speed dial.
“We use ogo, dulse, sea lettuce … anything else he finds or grows,” Cogley said. “To work with Dr. G, who is the foremost authority on seaweed, has helped us have a consistent product.”

To read more, you can find the article here

MLML Researchers Plant Baby Oysters in Partnership with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

On October 23rd, 2018, baby Olympia oysters were planted in Elkhorn Slough as part of a native oyster restoration project.  A number of MLML Researchers and Graduate Students are featured in these stories and photos about the event:

Elkhorn Slough: A Big Day for Baby Oysters

KION: Baby oysters planted at Elkhorn Slough

SeaGrant: Struggling Olympia oysters get a boost from scientists in Monterey Bay

Santa Cruz Sentinel: Bringing Olympia oysters back to Elkhorn Slough

Photo by Brendan Tougher

MLML Researchers Planting Baby Oysters in Partnership with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve – October 23rd, 2018


October 18, 2018

For more information:

Scott Nichols, ESF Development & Communications Manager


Phone: (831) 728-5939

Interested members of the media are invited to attend this first-of-its-kind restoration effort, which offers exceptional video, photo, and interview opportunities from an active research site on the tidal mudflats of the Elkhorn Slough.

Researchers Planting Baby Oysters at Elkhorn Slough (10/23)

First Attempt in California to Restore Native Oysters through Aquaculture

ELKHORN SLOUGH, CA — On the afternoon of Tuesday, October 23, 2018, members of the media are invited to attend as a team of researchers and volunteers plant juvenile Olympia oysters in the tidal mudflats of Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. This outplanting of juvenile oysters, raised in partnership with Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, represents the first attempt to support California’s dwindling native oyster populations through aquaculture.

WHAT:  Planting juvenile Olympia oysters (grown through aquaculture in partnership with Moss Landing Marine Laboratories) in the tidal mudflats of the Elkhorn Slough Reserve.

WHEN:  Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 3:00pm-6:00pm. Media are encouraged to RSVP.

WHERE:  Meet at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve Visitor Center, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville, CA  95076 (map). We will provide rubber boots, if needed, and shuttle media to and from the project site on the Elkhorn Slough Reserve’s tidal mudflats (approx. 10 minutes).

WHO: Reserve Research Coordinator Dr. Kerstin Wasson with researchers, students, and volunteers from Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (ESNERR), Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), and Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML). When the work is complete, there will be a celebratory toast led by MLML Director Jim Harvey, joined by Assemblyman Mark Stone and other supporters of California aquaculture and oyster restoration, including the Anthropocene Institute which provided substantial funding.

WHY:  Researchers, students, and volunteers will plant juvenile oysters in Elkhorn Slough to help restore dwindling native oyster populations. This represents the first attempt to support native oyster restoration through aquaculture in the state of California.

CONTACT:  For more information or to RSVP, please contact Scott Nichols, ESF Development & Communications Manager, at or (831) 728-5939.


Administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) which owns the property, the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (ESNERR), is one of 29 Reserves established nationwide to support long-term research, water-quality monitoring, environmental education, and coastal stewardship. The Elkhorn Slough Foundation (ESF) works in partnership with the Reserve, and is the only nonprofit organization solely dedicated to protecting Elkhorn Slough and its watershed forever. For more information, visit:

Elkhorn Slough Reserve volunteers Ken Pollak and Celeste Stanik deploying clam shell reefs with oyster restoration expert Chela Zabin (Photo by Kerstin Wasson, Elkhorn Slough Reserve)