New York State Agriculture and Markets
New York State’s only certified manufacturer of pure local fertilizer products sourced from the sea

Our Story

The Montauk Seaweed Supply Company™️ was established in 2021 after nearly a decade of research and development was conducted in the kelp and seaweed marketplace. Because we have worked side-by-side with leaders in the scientific community, ocean conservation and law enforcement we have been able to design our operations in a way that will accomplish a very important mission. 

Our Mission

We’re on a mission to achieve 3 main goals:

1
To lead the new regenerative kelp farming and seaweed harvesting industry in New York State in the most inclusive and responsible way possible
2
To manufacture stabilized organic fertilizer products that will create a circular nitrogen loop on Long Island and perform phytoremediation for New York’s waterways through kelp farming
3
To become the keystone of a new blue-green economy in New York based on regenerative business practices that create new jobs, improve soil health, and sequester carbon and nitrogen

Our Montauk team of Bonac Foragers and local regenerative kelp farmers brings together over 100 years of experience working above and below the ocean’s surface off the coast of eastern Long Island. Working previously as spear fishers and shellfish farmers, this small community has recently begun producing premium quality farmed kelp and wild seaweed harvests for the first time. These small-batch artisanal harvests are now being landed at our HACCP-Certified partner facility here in Montauk Harbor, and we have begun carefully stabilizing these raw deliveries into market-ready fertilizer products. 

This historic series of events marks an important milestone for New York State in the development of nature-based solutions that advance a new blue-green economy based on regenerative business practices. Our operations are specifically designed to remove excess nitrogen from local waterways and sequester excess carbon from the atmosphere—while improving the health of our local soil and aquifers—and creating jobs.

Redefining Our Relationship with the Ocean

  • For more than 200 years Montauk has served as New York State’s largest and most productive commercial fishing port
  • Now a new regenerative industry is being born in Montauk that revolves around the farming and sustainable harvesting of macro-algae, such as sugar kelp and certain types of abundant seaweeds
  • This shift of focus to harvesting from the bottom of the marine trophic scale will redefine our relationship with the ocean for generations to come
  • A rising tide of regenerative ocean farming will bring the region into a new era as the Montauk working waterfront community adapts to climate change and begins to deploy solutions
  • All environmental engineering solutions that are scientifically proven to capture carbon, sequester nitrogen, improve soil health, perform phytoremediation of waterways and create jobs should be pursued vigorously and supported
  • For more than 200 years Montauk has served as New York State’s largest and most productive commercial fishing port
  • Now a new regenerative industry is being born in Montauk that revolves around the farming and sustainable harvesting of macro-algae, such as sugar kelp and certain types of abundant seaweeds
  • This shift of focus to harvesting from the bottom of the marine trophic scale will redefine our relationship with the ocean for generations to come
  • A rising tide of regenerative ocean farming will bring the region into a new era as the Montauk working waterfront community adapts to climate change and begins to deploy solutions
  • All environmental engineering solutions that are scientifically proven to capture carbon, sequester nitrogen, improve soil health, perform phytoremediation of waterways and create jobs should be pursued vigorously and supported

The Montauk Seaweed Supply Company™ is New York State’s original processing and distribution operation for raw kelp and seaweed that has been grown and / or harvested from inshore waters that are under management by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Problem

For the past 70 years, Long Island’s coastal waterways have been under constant siege as waves of coastal development and overpopulation have forced elevated levels of nitrogen into local bays and estuaries. This “nitrogen loading” epidemic has been amplified dramatically by the impacts of imported synthetic fertilizers used for landscaping, lawns, golf courses and some forms of agriculture.

A water resources management plan for Suffolk County recently identified nitrogen loading as “public water enemy #1” and said that nitrate concentrations had increased more than 80% in some areas. Nitrogen loading has helped to destroy tidal wetlands and other coastal ecosystems, the plan said, and has damaged commercial fisheries, including the once-robust bay scallop fishing industry. In 2020, New York State formally petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce to issue a disaster declaration for the Peconic Bay scallop fishery, following a catastrophic die-off of scallops in East End waterways.

The Solution

The Montauk Seaweed Supply Company™ has pioneered a unique yet simple solution to the nitrogen loading epidemic by creating a series of kelp and seaweed fertilizer products using raw materials harvested responsibly from New York waters.

NPK from MTK™

Our organic products supply soil with N – Nitrogen, P – Phosphorous, and K – Potassium which improves soil health. Plants need nitrogen for leaf growth, phosphorus for root formation, stem growth, and fruiting, and potassium for flowering and plant immunity.

Inevitably, nitrogen seeps into the water aquifer or rain washes it into waterways where it becomes concentrated and causes damage. Our new kelp farms and managed seaweed beds soak up this nitrogen in a process called bioextraction, and we then convert it into a healthy fertilizer to return to the soil. This cycle closes the loop of nitrogen loading and eliminates the need to import nitrogen from elsewhere in order to fertilize local soil.

Kelp Fertilizer Advantages

  • Farmed sugar kelp removes carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus from waterways
  • Kelp fertilizer contributes nitrogen, organic matter, and micro-nutrients to soil
  • Air quality and water infiltration improve while plants thrive
  • Fertilizer runoff into waterways decreases
  • Nitrogen in ecosystem is reduced as cycle continues
  • Waterways are cleaned through kelp farming
  • Kelp captures 5x more CO2 than plants on land
  • Kelp needs no fresh water or fertilizer to grow
  • Kelp forests remove 20x more CO2 than forests on land

Updates and Important Information About Our 2021 Operations

LIMITED AND SUPERVISED WILD HARVESTING

Our limited wild seaweed harvests are conducted under advisement by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in targeted areas where certain species of seaweed are extremely abundant. In some areas these seaweeds have overgrown to become a boating hazard by completely covering rocks and boulders in different tide cycles. Our harvests are performed by trained Bonac Foragers using only traditional manual techniques and tools. Our Bonac Foragers take all precautions to avoid disrupting any habitat that may be essential for fish or crustacea. We also take extraordinary care to only prune wild seaweed fronds and blades, while protecting the holdfast and stipe, which promotes regeneration and regrowth.

TARGETING INVASIVE SPECIES

Our Montauk team is actively researching and developing seaweed fertilizer products made with a new aggressively-spreading species, Dasysiphonia japonica, a seaweed native to Japan, which poses a threat to Long Island shores. Please explore why these invasive seaweeds must urgently be removed from local aquatic ecosystems here.

WORKING WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENT

Over the past 50 years Long Island has lost more than 90% of traditional “working waterfronts” where coastal communities once gathered to work and process materials that were sourced from the sea. In order to begin establishing capacity and protocols for landing the upcoming (and potentially very large) local harvests of farmed New York sugar kelp in 2022 and beyond, it is necessary to build a foundation for a working waterfront using limited wild and invasive kelp and seaweed harvests which are available year round.

HONORING THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF LONG ISLAND

We honor and pay homage to the Indigenous Peoples of Long Island, specifically members of the Shinnecock Nation and their ancestors, who were the first to harvest and develop uses for seaweeds in this area.

NY STATE: FARMED KELP LEGAL STATUS

In 2021 our kelp meal fertilizer products are temporarily being manufactured using farmed sugar kelp (Saccharina latissimi) that has been imported from the nearby states of Connecticut and Rhode Island while we await New York State regulators to establish a framework that will make kelp farming legal in New York State.  Please join us in encouraging New York State legislators to advance “the Kelp Bill” by signing our petition of support here.

Visit Our Shop

Please visit our shop to join our waitlist for New York State’s first certified kelp and seaweed products. These inaugural products are for non-food grade purposes. Your purchases will support the working waterfront community of Montauk as we embark on a new journey to bring the ocean’s bounty to shore in a truly restorative and sustainable way.

Our Diversity Statement

We want everyone to join us and feel welcome at the MONTAUK SEAWEED SUPPLY COMPANY®. We value our differences in race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, citizenship, national origin and age. We value our different cultural, class, and faith backgrounds, and people who are disabled, veterans, and people with criminal histories.