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NSCC Applied Research

Mapping and assessing kelp in Atlantic Canada

A colourful variety of kelp species underwater.
Different species of kelp filmed off the coast of Newfoundland using an underwater remotely operated vehicle.


In a collaborative and multifaceted endeavor centered around kelp, NSCC's Applied Geomatics Research Group (AGRG) joins forces with two other Atlantic Canadian colleges. AGRG is using their topo-bathymetric lidar technology to map and quantify natural and farmed kelp. PEI-Holland College’s Canada’s Smartest Kitchen is developing snack products from the kelp and The College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland is using AGRG’s mapping results and machine learning to predict where kelp should grow best.


The three colleges aim to better understand the nature of kelp in our shared waters to grow the kelp industry in our region. From mapping wild kelp beds to producing novel kelp-based food products, the goals of this project are wide ranging and aimed at harnessing the full potential of kelp as a valuable resource. 


“The ongoing two-year research plan aims to enhance our understanding of the coastal environment. This will open doors to a potential new kelp industry, improved aquaculture sites and critical infrastructure for marine spatial planning. The outcomes will optimize coastal resources and pave the way for sustainable development.”

- Dr. Tim Webster, AGRG Research Scientist


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