Seaweed Forests Festival

Apr 12, 2021by Olivia - F&F

The Seaweed Forests Festival is a massive celebration of the humble seaweed and its contribution to science, art and food!  

The festival, organised by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, aims to bring awareness to our wonderful underwater world and the massive role that seaweed plays in keeping our oceans healthy. From April 9th to May 9th, you can expect a huge range of activities, events and exhibitions in Manly, NSW. 

Together, let’s celebrate seaweed in style! 

What are Seaweed Forests?What are Seaweed Forests?

What are Seaweed Forests?

Never heard of seaweed forests? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! 

After watching Seaspiracy, many of us are probably curious about underwater deforestation and the role of seaweed in mitigating climate change. If you haven’t watched Seaspiracy yet, check out our summary of the documentary here!  

As it turns out, seaweed forests are integral to ocean and planetary health. They’re the underwater trees that support and protect our coastline — and we really don’t give them enough credit!

Seaweed is really important

According to the organisers of the festival, “seaweeds create underwater forests that are among the most productive and biodiverse ecosystems in the world. Like land plants, seaweeds absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, and are therefore an important ‘carbon-sink’ that can help us to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions".

Did you know that seaweeds have been used for food and materials by Indigenous peoples around the world for thousands of years? 

“Seaweeds continue to be used in all sorts of wonderfully innovative ways as food complements, fertilisers, and cosmetics. They can even be used to brew beer, and seaweeds also have unique properties that make them a particularly good choice for new sustainable textile fibres,” the organisers said.

What is the Seaweed Forests Festival?What is the Seaweed Forests Festival?

What is the Seaweed Forests Festival?

From April 9th to May 9th, you can expect a wide range of seaweed-related events, such as panel discussions, hands-on restoration work, kids events, education workshops, musical performances, snorkelling tours, tastings of seaweed delicacies, and much more. Find out more about all the Festival’s events here.  

The festival will feature scientists from the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and a host of leading thinkers, including Professor Tim Flannery and Shane Gould AM. There’s no shortage of amazing speakers, and they all come from interesting scientific, artistic or food-related backgrounds. Check out the complete list here!   

Seaweed Art

The Seaweed Forests Festival is also a time to check out some fabulous art installations. The Seaweed Arboretum, the most recent project in a long-term collaboration between artists Jennifer Turpin and Michaelie Crawford, was developed especially for the festival in the Manly Art Gallery. Forest, Flora and Float are the focal points for the installation; each gallery shows the natural beauty of the humble seaweed. They incorporate light and movement to create a subversive experience.

Ocean Impact Organisation PodcastOcean Impact Organisation Podcast

Want to learn more about our oceans?

Tim Silverwood and Nick Chiarelli, co-founders of the Ocean Impact Organisation, have created the Ocean Impact Podcast — it follows their journey of discovery and mission to create an abundant and sustainable ocean through inspiration, innovation, leadership, and good business.  

All episodes feature someone doing amazing stuff for our oceans — whether it’s a scientist, CEO, activist, filmmaker, or a surfing legend like Layne Beachley — there’s plenty of content to explore. We highly recommend it!

Take 3 For The Sea

Tim Silverwood is also the co-founder of Take 3 For The Sea — an amazing movement that promotes simple actions to address complex problems. 

#Take3ForTheSea is the act of picking up three pieces of rubbish when you leave the beach, waterway or… anywhere, really! It’s a simple thing we can all do to make a difference. 


Here at Flora & Fauna, we strive every day to be kind to the planet, people and animals. That’s why we love these amazing organisations and everything that they do for our oceans and marine biodiversity.

If you’re in the Manly area, definitely check out the Seaweed Forests Festival and all that it has to offer!  

If you enjoy reading about eco events and positive news, head to The Eco Hub for more.

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