Hawaii's Algae Farm

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Address 73956 Makako Bay Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
You won't believe what this algae is used for.

• General: Educational

Ever notice those oddly colored ponds when flying into Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA) on Hawaii's Big Island or just browsing on Google Maps and wonder what those are? There often hard to miss when the rest of the land is black lava fields and certainly look strange, so what are they?

Algae! More specifically, algae farms. That's right, they're growing algae on the Big Island. But this isn't any old algae. This 90 acre site is home to dozens of man made ponds, each around 600 feet long, that grow mineral-rich algae that gets used in nutritional supplements. The microalgae facility is run by the Cyanotech Corporation though the land is owned by the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA).

The process involves pumping 130,000 gallons of ocean water, from as deep as 2,000 feet below the surface, into the ponds. The water is then stirred while the sun does the work of heating things so the algae can thrive. The harvested algae is used to make Spirulina as well as Astaxanthin and better known as BioAstin (you can find it here on Amazon).