Soil management practices of farmers in the Kāne'ohe Bay watershed and potential for implementing algae-based soil amendments.
In Kāne'ohe Bay, Hawai'i, efforts were made to mitigate invasive marine algae and repurpose it as an agricultural resource. We used interviews and participant observation with farmers to analyze possible benefits and tradeoffs of adopting algal soil inputs, with attention to labor patterns, nutrient sources and efficiency, soil health, and productivity. Conventional and organic growers were interested in composted algae to improve soil organic matter, and the fertilizer value of liquid anaerobic digestate, but algal levels declined unexpectedly. Should levels resurge, organizations that conduct boundary work between farmers and conservation agencies will enable its wider use as a soil amendment.