Colloquy Downeast Blue Hill Maine

Colloquy Downeast

Spirited Conversations in Great Company

FacilitatorDavid Porter
Date & TimeThursdays, October 29, November 5, 12, and 19, 2020
2:00-4:00 pm
LocationSeaweeds will be offered via Zoom

Seaweeds are a constant element of coastal Maine, often overlooked and underappreciated. In recent years however, the commercial harvesting of seaweeds has brought newsworthy attention to these organisms and their ecological and economic significance.

This colloquy will delve into questions surrounding the place of seaweeds in our lives. What are seaweeds in a biological and ecological sense?  What are the commercial uses of seaweeds – now and in the future?   How have seaweeds affected our ecological ethos?   How have artists viewed seaweeds?

David Porter is a retired professor of Plant Biology who still maintains his youthful fascination with what can be found along these rocky shores.

  ▼ Syllabus/Reading



October 29:  Biology of seaweeds


Shetterly, 2018, Seaweed Chronicles: a world at the water’s edge,  Ch 1 and 2, (but you probably won’t    want to stop there!).  Available from Blue Hill and Brooklin Libraries

Carson, 1955, The Edge of The Sea, Ch 3 The Rocky Shore, p 39 -103

available at  or from either library

Mouritsen, 2013, Seaweeds: Edible, Available and Sustainable, pp 5 – 65

available from Brooklin Library


November 5: Fresh seaweeds and seaweeds in art

Observations of live seaweeds, preparation of specimens to mount and dry


Iselin, 2014, An Ocean Garden: the secret life of seaweed, available from Blue Hill Library

Collect seaweeds to show at the discussion


November 12: Commercial uses of seaweeds

Seaweed products, aquaculture and natural harvesting


Shetterly, Ch 3 -12; Mouritsen, pp 68 – 112 and 204 – 231


November 19: Seaweed Harvesting on the Maine Coast

property rights and legal battles


Shetterly, ch 9

Maine Supreme Court Decision: Ross, et al. vs Acadian Seaplants, Ltd.



The following books will be useful for background information:

Rachel Carson, The Edge of the Sea 1955

Josie Iselin, An Ocean Garden: the Secret Life of Seaweed, 2014

Ole Mouritsen, Seaweeds: edible, available and sustainable, 2013

Susan Shetterly, Seaweed Chronicles: a World at the Water’s Edge, 2018

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  ▼ Registration


Bookings are now closed (or the colloquy has been cancelled)

We aren't currently accepting bookings for Seaweeds.

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