Product Aims to Accelerate Development and Testing of Macroalgae-Based Carbon Sequestration

Ocean Visions’ new “living” digital road map allows for global crowdsourcing approach

Ocean Visions today released the first in a series of five “living” digital road maps that identify specific pathways forward to accelerate the development and testing of ocean-based carbon dioxide removal approaches.

The first of these maps—the Macroalgae Cultivation and Carbon Sequestration Road Map—was introduced to potential users at the 2021 Ocean Visions Summit.

During 2020, Ocean Visions convened experts from multiple disciplines, sectors, and geographies to build these road maps. Numerous workshops helped to identify technology readiness, scaling potential, uncertainties, obstacles, opportunities, and first-order priorities for moving the field forward. The effort focused on three ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR) domains, as well as two cross-cutting issues of importance.

These road maps are intended to catalyze attention and action around the most critical priorities to move these fields forward. The road maps will be regularly updated and refined as advances emerge in science, technology, governance, and policy.

Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is increasingly acknowledged as an imperative for slowing climate change, in lockstep with reducing emissions. To date, however, most of the development around CDR approaches and technologies has been focused on terrestrial solutions, such as afforestation.

“Removing legacy carbon pollution from our air and water is essential to a healthy ocean, and to interrupting dangerous warming and acidification. The ocean represents an enormous opportunity to sequester carbon, but ocean-based carbon dioxide removal approaches are poorly understood and underinvested,” says Ocean Visions Executive Director and Chief Innovation Officer Brad Ack. “These road maps are designed to help overcome those obstacles.”

The cultivation of macroalgae, or seaweed, has the potential to play a critical role in sequestering carbon. While there are a number of emerging pilot initiatives, a supportive framework is lacking. The road maps are intended to provide this framework, allowing scientists, engineers, cultivators, entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, and more to collaborate across the globe to drive progress on the most critical priorities for scaling the field.

“This new road map will help a multisector community better understand and assess challenges and opportunities related to field testing, commercial scaling, philanthropic engagement, and public support—all grounded in an evidence-based, precautionary approach towards implementation,” Ack says.

Support for the suite of open-source digital road maps comes from ClimateWorks and Schmidt Marine Technology Partners.

Ocean Visions 2021 Summit to Showcase and Explore Diverse Solutions for Pressing Ocean Challenges

Prominent researchers, innovators, decision-makers, and funders will discuss new road maps for ocean-based solutions to the climate crisis, equitable solutions for coastal inundations and sea level rise, development of marine circular economies, and much more.

The Ocean Visions 2021 Summit, “Towards a Global Ecosystem for Ocean Solutions,” will be held May 18-21, 2021. The biennial Summit will feature prominent researchers, innovators, decision-makers, and funders—all of whom are working to accelerate solutions for the greatest challenges facing our ocean.

Against the backdrop of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), this year’s summit will convene a diverse community on the cutting edge of creating and advancing solutions in the ocean-climate nexus.

Opening the four-day summit with a conversation on catalyzing ocean solutions is Scripps Institution of Oceanography Director Margaret Leinen, Georgia Tech College of Sciences Dean and American Geophysical Union President Susan Lozier, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution President and Director Peter de Menocal, Chairman of Ocean Visions and Georgia Tech Ocean Science & Engineering Director Emanuele Di Lorenzo, Co-Founder of the Early Career Ocean Professional network under the UN Decade Erin Satterthwaite, and Ocean Visions Executive Director & Chief Innovation Officer Brad Ack.

The Ocean Visions 2021 Summit is expected to bring together more than a thousand participants from many parts of the globe to engage in meaningful conversations on the most effective approaches to address the major ocean-climate challenges. Sessions include:

· Accelerating the Ocean’s Power to Sequester Carbon and Reverse Climate Disruption

· Equitable Solutions for Coastal Inundations and Sea Level Rise

· Healthy Ocean & Healthy People

· Marine Circular Bioeconomy: Sustainable Food, Bioenergy, & Biomaterials

· Harnessing Innovation to Accelerate Ocean Solutions

· Towards a Global Ecosystem for Ocean Solutions (GEOS)

“We used to think the ocean was beyond human’s ability to affect; we now know that our ocean is under enormous stress from an ever-expanding human footprint. From overfishing, habitat alteration, and a host of pollutants flowing into the ocean, to the existential threats posed by too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the ocean, we desperately need the power of human ingenuity to redesign the systems causing the pain,” says Brad Ack, executive director & chief innovation officer at Ocean Visions. “This conference is all about that re-design; breaking down the silos that exist among research universities and institutions, professional ocean-focused societies, NGOs, IGOs, foundations, business and financial institutions to work together on new solutions.”

The Ocean Visions 2021 Summit is complimentary to attend. Registration is required to have access to the virtual summit portal. For more details on the program and to register, please visit: