Jacquelynn Nguyen

OASE intern at Oregon Kelp Alliance

  • Industry: Aquaculture/Sea Urchin Farming
  • Project Type: Water Quality Monitoring
  • Location: Port Orford, OR
  • Major/University: Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University


Project Summary

Jacquelynn Nguyen interned at the Oregon Kelp Alliance to study the potential for an aquaculture system that uses seaweed as a natural, sustainable way to remove sea urchin waste from traditional sea urchin farming methods.

Potential Impacts


  • Reduce the waste produced by artificial feed used in traditional sea urchin farms
  • Reduce biological waste (ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite) produced by sea urchins
  • Reduce the need for expensive and complex chemicals for water treatment and system maintenance
  • Sequester carbon through the restoration of kelp forests


The Oregon Kelp Alliance is an organization consisting of scientists, natural resource managers, tribal members, tour guides, and chefs, formed to preserve bull kelp forests that are declining on the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Based at the OSU Field Station in Port Orford, research towards kelp restoration includes diving and surveying affected areas, removing urchins, investigating affected organisms and habitats, developing urchin ranching operations, and educating the public about current findings.



Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture uses extractive species like seaweeds and filter feeders as biofilters to sustainably remove waste and convert products from an aquatic ecosystem; this also allows them to be a secondary marketable produce. In this internship study, the extractive species was the dulse and the main commercial product was the sea urchin uni (gonads/reproductive systems). This study suggested a sustainable aquaculture system that successfully recycles waste products of the sea urchin while developing the dulse and uni as two marketable food sources.