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Underwater Forests / 

/ Ethical Seaweed Foraging

Fort Point National Historic Site / July 18-19, 2022

Photo by Sophie Klimcak 

Down by the Bay

Under the Sea

At low tide, the ocean pulls back to reveal an underwater forest – feather boa kelp floating in verdant pools, little rockweed sprouting from the sand, and on the underside of rocks, the twisted braids of black pine seaweed. With nearly 12,000 kinds of seaweed in the ocean, algae are responsible for most of the oxygen we breathe, serve as carbon sinks, and are a nutrient-rich superfood.

By activating our sense of taste, touch, and smell, naturalist Tanya Stiller will guide us in ethically harvesting and protecting the regenerative power of seaweed on a well-kept secret of a beach, just under the Golden Gate Bridge. After filling our buckets to the brim, we’ll learn creative ways to use our foraged seaweed in cooking and skincare alike!

Through reciprocal foraging practices, we collectively explored:

  • how to ethically identify, harvest, and protect a diversity of seaweeds

  • seaweed’s benefits for the climate and its medicinal uses in food and skincare

  • our relationship with the rhythm and cadence of ocean tides, the moon, the seasons, time, and seashore ecology

About our Guide

Tanya Stiller has been teaching for over 25 years as a clinical herbalist, nutrition consultant, gardener, permaculturalist, and ethnobotanist. She received her Botanical Medicine certificate in 1994 from The Oregon School of Herbal Medicine, ran a tincture and lotion-making company called Pixie Plants and has since been teaching herbal and foraging classes in Oregon and the Bay Area. You can finding her teaching classes on botany, seaweed harvesting, foraging, and homesteading at Ancestral Apothecary, and many Bay Area Herbal Schools.


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