Ocean Visions Unveils Road Maps to Accelerate Development and Testing of Ocean-Based Carbon Sequestration Methods

Digital product designed for ongoing global engagement

Ocean Visions today released five “living” road maps designed to coalesce effort and energy around the continued development of ocean-based approaches to draw down and safely store carbon dioxide – the greenhouse gas most responsible for two existential threats facing the ocean: ocean warming and ocean acidification. The road maps provide overviews of potential ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies, critical obstacles they face, and first-order priorities to accelerate their development and field testing.

These digital road maps highlight the highest priorities for action and are intended to catalyze global engagement on research and development of ocean-based CDR approaches. As digital products, they can be updated and refined regularly as advances emerge in science, technology, governance, and policy.

“These road maps are the culmination of an international effort to assess the current state of ocean-based CDR and what is needed to accelerate the development and testing of promising approaches,” says Brad Ack, Ocean Visions Executive Director and Chief Innovation Officer. “They will help advance our collective ability to answer that question, and do so in an evidence-based, precautionary approach.”

The road maps become available as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last month published its landmark report on the state of the earth’s climate, which affirms that humans have caused unprecedented and irreversible change to the climate.

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

“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 Emanuele Di Lorenzo, Professor and Founding Director of the Program in Ocean Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “These road maps are a great tool to help overcome those obstacles.”

During 2020, Ocean Visions convened experts from multiple disciplines, sectors, and geographies to build the road maps. Numerous workshops helped to identify technology readiness, scaling potential, uncertainties, obstacles, opportunities, and first-order priorities. The effort focused on three ocean-based CDR domains:

  1. Macroalgal cultivation and carbon sequestration: Marine macroalgae (e.g. Sargassum and kelp) have a tremendous potential for carbon sequestration capacity. Long-term storage could be achieved by transforming the biomass into long-lived products (fiber, biochar, plastics, etc.), using it as a source of renewable fuel, and/or sinking the biomass residues into the deep ocean.
  2. Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement: Natural rock weathering, producing alkaline carbon molecules that wash into the ocean, is the primary way by which Earth naturally removes and stores excess CO2over geological timescales. Ocean alkalinity enhancement technologies speed up this natural process to store carbon dioxide in the ocean and, at the same time, reduce ocean acidity.
  3. Electrochemical removal of carbon dioxidefrom seawater: Sometimes called “direct ocean capture” to draw comparisons with direct air capture, this approach encompasses both electrodialytic and electrolytic techniques that capture and remove dissolved inorganic carbon from seawater and/or produce a CO2-reactive chemical base that can be distributed in the surface ocean to consume atmospheric CO2 and convert it to long-lived, dissolved, bicarbonate in the ocean.

All three domains are still in the early stages of research, development, and demonstration. Modeling and lab-scale experimentation are underway. In-depth environmental impact studies are needed before controlled field trails can begin.

In addition to these three first-order priorities, road maps were developed for two cross-cutting issues of importance: building and maintaining public support and expanding finance and investment.

“Successful adoption of any new technology or innovation seldom relies on its function, engineering, or design alone,” says Ack. “Public awareness and acceptance and additional investments are also needed; these may be some of the most critical hurdles facing technologies associated with ocean-based CDR.”

The full suite of road maps is now fully available to contributors. Ocean Visions is actively soliciting community input to provide up-to-date information that will keep the road map knowledge base cutting-edge.

Support for this suite of digital road maps comes from ClimateWorks and Schmidt Marine Technology Partners.

Ocean Visions Launchpad Now Accepting Applications: Will Provide Tailored Expert Support to Selected Competitors for XPRIZE Carbon Removal

Ocean Visions Launchpad

Ocean Visions today opened applications for its “Launchpad” to support competitors to the $100 million XPRIZE Carbon Removal who are pursuing ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR) pathways. The Ocean Visions Launchpad will provide tailored teams of experts drawn from the Ocean Visions Network to assist selected competitors as they compete to win the $100 million XPRIZE Carbon Removal, funded by the Musk Foundation.

Ocean Visions will work with the selected competitors to identify the specific technical and disciplinary expertise, as well as key physical resources (such as testing facilities, vessels, and labs), that they most need to enhance their ability to compete. Ocean Visions will then recruit appropriate experts from within its Network to build customized teams from relevant disciplines and expertise. These advisory teams will provide ongoing technical advice and support over 12-24 months, without charge, to help the selected competitors maximize their chances of winning the prize.

The application process is open to innovators anywhere in the world competing with an ocean-based CDR pathway. Details of the application process and application template can be found here. The application period closes September 24, 2021.

“We’re excited to partner with Ocean Visions to support teams as they compete for XPRIZE Carbon Removal,” says Nikki Batchelor, Prize Director for the XPRIZE Carbon Removal. “Ocean-based carbon removal technologies remain underdeveloped and burgeoning concepts will benefit greatly from the expertise that the Ocean Visions Network can provide.”

This XPRIZE comes at an inflection point for civilization. Severe climate change impacts are arriving much earlier than forecasted and at lower levels of greenhouse gases than predicted by models. Many of the most transformative impacts are in the ocean.

Currently, most global efforts to address climate disruption are focused on reducing current and future emissions of greenhouse gas pollutants. While vital, this path alone is no longer sufficient. The world’s best science clearly spells out the need for gigaton-scale clean-up of the greenhouse gas pollution already in the biosphere[1] in order to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change, and to ultimately restore our climate.

“We are in a race against time, and time is winning. We need to clean up the massive quantity of legacy carbon pollution that is choking the planet and killing the ocean,” says Brad Ack, Executive Director and Chief Innovation Officer at Ocean Visions. “While we must explore all alternatives, some of the most promising are those that build on natural processes that already occur in the ocean; small increases to the ocean’s total storage could have enormous impacts on remediating climate disruption.”

Through its Network, and in partnership with the Grantham Environmental Trust, Ocean Visions is already fielding similar expert teams to evaluate and advise ocean-based carbon dioxide removal initiatives. The Ocean Visions Launchpad is an expansion of this important work.

About Ocean Visions
Ocean Visions Inc. brings together leading oceanographic research and academic institutions with private sector and public-interest organizations to design and advance solutions to the growing threats to our ocean. We are committed to reversing the climate crisis in the ocean, increasing the resilience of coastal systems and communities to climate impacts, and building a climate-resilient aquatic food system. To learn more, visit www.oceanvisions.org or follow @Ocean_Visions on Twitter.

XPRIZE is a global future-positive movement of over 1M people and rising, delivering truly radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. XPRIZE inspires and empowers a global community of problem-solvers to positively impact our world by crowdsourcing solutions through large-scale competitions, tackling the world’s grandest challenges in exploration, environment and human equity. Active competitions include the $100 Million XPRIZE Carbon Removal with Elon Musk, $20 Million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, $15 Million XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion, $10 Million XPRIZE Rainforest, $10 Million ANA Avatar XPRIZE, $5 Million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling and $1 Million Digital Learning Challenge. Donate, sign up or join a team at xprize.org.

[1] Global Warming of 1.5 ºC — (ipcc.ch)

Designing a Framework for Responsible Research: Sinking Seaweed for CO2 Proposal

Ocean Visions and its partner the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) announce a call for self-nominations from scientists, engineers, technologists, entrepreneurs, environmental managers, conservationists, and other relevant actors to join a working group to develop a framework for responsible research regarding the fate and environmental impacts of sinking marine biomass (seaweed) to the deep ocean for carbon dioxide removal.

Carbon dioxide removal is now a globally recognized requirement alongside emissions reductions to stop, and eventually reverse, the climate emergency. Ocean-based pathways of carbon dioxide removal, while nascent, are quickly gaining attention as a diverse community of interests seeks to better determine whether ocean-based carbon removal pathways can contribute to meaningful carbon dioxide removal in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.

To accelerate the research, development, and testing of technologies in order to make well-informed decisions, Ocean Visions recently engaged a global network of experts in the design of technology road maps for ocean-based carbon dioxide removal pathways.

One of the ocean-based pathways considered in these road maps, and receiving attention well beyond, is the intentional sinking of seaweed to sequester the carbon at the bottom of the ocean (for example, see this article). Yet little is known about the scale and permanence of carbon sequestration, and the environmental impacts, of intentionally sinking seaweed.

Ocean Visions and MBARI are pleased to advance progress on one of the first-order priorities identified in the road maps: design of a globally applicable research framework to improve knowledge about the CO2 fate and environmental impacts of intentionally sinking seaweed biomass to the deep ocean for the purposes of long-term carbon sequestration.

Working Group Terms of Reference:

We are taking nominations to assemble a team of ~20 people to produce, through facilitated conversations:

  1. An asset inventory of all existing and near-term future resources available to support studies, including but not limited to:
    • Deep-sea observatories amenable to experimental studies (i.e., will not impact long-term ecological studies)
    • Needed experimental equipment
    • Remotely operated, autonomous, and human-operated vehicles
    • So-called “natural laboratories” that can provide important analogs to intentional sinking of macroalgae
  2. Design of template experiments (considering resources in #1) to answer questions regarding:
    • Fate of the carbon embedded in the seaweed, including the potential for remineralization or burial
    • Potential environmental impacts on deep-sea species and habitats
    • Critical deposition thresholds (e.g., x kg of seaweed deposited per square kilometer of seafloor) that trigger ecosystem changes
  3. Provide cost estimates for the various experimental designs described in #2 that will produce actionable information for policy makers.

Specific Working Group Products/Outcomes:

  1. Develop and publish an online open asset inventory to highlight resources available to study this question.
  1. Design and publish template model experiments, along with their estimated costs. These model experiments will be made openly available so that they can be utilized and adapted by the global scientific community, including the public and philanthropic funding sources who may support the research.

Selection and Logistics 
Working group members will be selected to provide a balanced representation of relevant expertise with due consideration of expertise, experience, geographical, and gender diversity. We anticipate a commitment of 8-10 hours per month for six months in virtual meetings. Working group members will be paid an honorarium for their services.

The deadline for submitting self-nominations is August 22, 2021


If you encounter technical difficulties with the application form or have any specific questions, please contact Program Lead Dr. Catherine Jadot (cath.jadot@oceanvisions.org).

About Ocean Visions
Ocean Visions is a consortium of leading US oceanographic and academic institutions working in partnership with diverse members of the private sector to catalyze science and engineering research and innovation into real-world applications and scalable solutions to address the growing crisis in our oceans and climate.

The mission of the Ocean Visions Network is to identify, evaluate, develop, test, demonstrate, and ultimately deploy equitable, durable, and scalable solutions to the ocean’s most pressing environmental challenges. The Network brings together diverse institutions and sectors with a common interest in ocean solutions.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) (www.mbari.org) was founded by David Packard as an advanced center for ocean research and technology development. MBARI strives to address important problems in ocean science through the development of better instruments, systems, and methods for ocean exploration and research. MBARI emphasizes teamwork between scientists, engineers, and marine operations to develop, test, and deploy instruments ROVs, AUVs, and other ocean assets from its three ships.

Request for Proposals: Ocean-Based Carbon Dioxide Removal Analogues

The ClimateWorks Foundation supports research grants to help close key knowledge gaps to advance ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR), and to catalyze public and philanthropic interest in this field of research. Ocean Visions has a multi-pronged program to support accelerated research and development of ocean-based CDR. Together, ClimateWorks Foundation and Ocean Visions seek to award up to two,18-month grants to evaluate the effectiveness and environmental impacts of ocean-based CDR approaches via the study of field-based analogues. Ocean-based CDR analogues are defined as marine settings that remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere via processes that could theoretically be replicated, accelerated, and scaled.

The grant size of a project proposal should not exceed $220,000. However, if there is a compelling reason for this RFP to support one large project (up to $440,000), applicants are invited to make that case in their proposal form.


To achieve climate targets set out in the Paris Accords, very large quantities of CO2 must be removed from the atmosphere. The ocean is Earth’s largest CO2 sink due to its various natural biological and geochemical processes. Such processes could potentially be replicated, amplified, and scaled in order to sequester atmospheric CO2 faster than would otherwise occur naturally.

Based largely on theoretical work or very small experiments, ocean-based CDR approaches have shown the potential to capture significant amounts of CO2. Ocean Visions’ road maps to accelerate the development and testing of ocean-based CDR approaches have identified the critical role of small, controlled field trials in providing real-world evidence of carbon sequestration potential, environmental co-benefits, and environmental risks. Yet there remain social, legal, and economic barriers that are slowing the initiation of field trials. As a stepping stone, ocean CDR analogues can serve as an opportunity to evaluate efficacies of CDR and environmental impacts of specific approaches.

Ocean-based CDR analogues are defined here as marine settings where the effects of ocean-based CDR approaches can be investigated due to a similarity in the process of carbon capture and storage, which would give insight to the CDR capacity and environmental impacts if that process were accelerated and scaled. Analogues may be nature-based (e.g., natural deposition of macroalgae in deep ocean environments) or a consequence of a historic or present-day anthropogenic activity (e.g., alkalinity flux into the ocean due terrestrial liming).

Projects evaluating CDR in blue carbon ecosystems (mangroves, seagrasses, salt marshes) fall outside the scope of this RFP.


Projects should identify a field-based ocean CDR analogue and:

  • Quantify atmospheric CO2 flux into the ocean, and
  • Evaluate environmental co-benefits and environmental risks of the process that removes CO2 from surface waters.

Methods should focus on in-situ observations, however, where data are already available but have not yet been synthesized or incorporated into models to inform CDR effectiveness and environmental impacts, desk research is a possibility as well.

Peer-reviewed scientific publications will ultimately be expected, but by the end of the grant duration (18 months) grantees should be prepared to produce a project summary that addresses the following topics:

  • How the analogue improves our understanding of carbon sequestration, permanence, environmental co-benefits, and environmental risks in that environment.
  • Critical physical, biological, and chemical properties of interest that affect the CDR capacity, environmental co-benefits, and environmental risks of the analogue.
  • Lesson learned from this analogue that could inform the design of controlled, experimental field trials, including measurement tools and data infrastructure needs.


Applicants can be from any country. Applicants must submit a pre-proposal, which will be evaluated by ClimateWorks Foundation and Ocean Visions staff. A subset of applicants will be selected and invited to submit a full proposal. Full proposals will be peer-reviewed by an Advisory Committee selected by Ocean Visions.

Applicants can use this RFP to co-fund and expand the scope of an existing project, as long as that project fulfills the scope of this RFP.

Applicants may submit or be part of more than one pre-proposal.

Application timeline:

11 August 2021, 6:00 PT                    Submission deadline for pre-proposals

25 August 2021                                    Invitations for full proposals sent out

15 September 2021, 17:00 PT           Submission deadline for full proposals

15 October 2021                                  Award decision announced


Pre-proposal submissions have been closed.  Submissions are under evaluation.  Questions may be sent to lydia@ceaconsulting.com.


This Request for Proposals is generously supported by funding from the ClimateWorks Foundation Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Program, and undertaken in partnership with Ocean Visions’ Ocean-Based CDR Program. Among other roles, OV will convene expert review panels as part of the process. ClimateWorks launched the CDR Program in 2018 to catalyze and promote the CDR field. In addition to working on terrestrial carbon dioxide removal issues, the CDR Program supports research to address key scientific gaps as well as major community-building initiatives to bring to light the ocean’s potential role in CO2 removal.

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: oceanvisions.org/summit-2021.

Ocean Visions’ Experts to Advise/Evaluate Innovation Tackling Ocean Acidification

Pilot project will develop new electrochemical approach to mitigate ocean acidification and enhance ocean-based carbon sequestration

Ocean Visions today announced an advisory relationship with The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Stony Brook University to pilot and evaluate a new approach aimed at mitigating ocean acidification and enhancing ocean carbon sequestration. The project, Safe Elevation of Alkalinity for the Mitigation of Acidification Through Electrochemistry (SEA MATE), will use electrochemistry to remove acids from the ocean.

During the 2021 phase of the pilot, SEA MATE will prototype an acid removal technique to combat ocean acidification. An additional anticipated benefit of the SEA MATE process is the capture of atmospheric carbon dioxide and its safe long-term sequestration in the ocean as bicarbonate. Ocean Visions has assembled an Expert Team to provide scientific review and guidance on the design of experiments, data analysis, hypothesis testing, and safe operating thresholds. The team will ultimately produce an independent evaluation of the overall potential of the approach, including environmental costs and benefits.

The effort is supported through a partnership between the Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust (GET) and Ocean Visions to identify and test technology-based solutions to climate impacts in the ocean. The partnership is founded on shared missions to slow, and ultimately reverse, the planet’s climate crisis.

“Excess carbon dioxide in our air and the ocean is causing dramatic disruptions to our planet; cleaning up this pollution is critical to restore our ocean,” says Brad Ack, executive director & chief innovation officer for Ocean Visions. “SEA MATE is a promising approach to address one of the most critical impacts of this carbon pollution – ocean acidification – while also tackling the direct cause of too much carbon dioxide in the air and water.”

“We clean up after oil spills, we should also clean up the ‘acid spill’ caused by carbon dioxide emissions,” says Dr. Matthew Eisaman, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Stony Brook University, and SEA MATE project lead.

Together with Dr. Brendan Carter, a principal investigator and research scientist with the University of Washington, Eisaman will share SEA MATE plans and findings with the Ocean Visions’ Expert Team, which will provide external, third-party review and guidance directed at increasing the probabilities of safe, successful outcomes and subsequent deployment. Specifically, the Ocean Visions’ Expert Team will:

  • Review SEA MATE’s research and development plan and provide feedback and advice on ways to optimize the design and implementation of the research and development plan to maximize overall performance, efficacy, and data integrity.
  • Review potential environmental risks and benefits and upstream and downstream impacts of the electrodialytic process and advise on how to minimize any potential negative impacts and maximize positive impacts.
  • Provide review and advice on design of monitoring systems and protocols to measure overall performance, and, in particular, carbon sequestration and environmental impacts of the electrochemical process developed by SEA MATE.
  • Review results of the laboratory testing, field tests, and model results as they become available.
  • Provide publicly available intermediate and final evaluation reports of the SEA MATE process. These reports will review the overall effort, the validity of the findings, any areas of disagreement and suggested next steps with respect to the research and development plan.

Ocean Visions’ Expert Team members include Dr. Ellen Briggs, Dr. David Ho, Dr. Kristy Kroeker, and Dr. William Tarpeh. Dr. David Koweek, Ocean Visions Science Director, is overseeing the effort.

Short biographies for team members are:

Dr. Ellen Briggs is a recently appointed Assistant Professor in the Ocean & Resources Engineering Department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa with research interests focusing on chemical sensor development and advancing chemical sensing technologies for oceanographic research. She received her BS degree in Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011. She then joined Scripps Institution of Oceanography as a PhD student in 2012. She received a MS in Earth Science in 2014 and completed her PhD in Oceanography in 2017 under Dr. Todd Martz where she developed a sensor for autonomous, in situ monitoring of the seawater carbon dioxide system measuring pH and Total Alkalinity. In her new position at UH, Ellen is continuing to refine the dual pH and Total Alkalinity sensor technology and test its capabilities for scientific research within the field of Ocean Acidification and coral reef metabolism under two recently awarded NSF grants.

Dr. David Ho is a Professor of Oceanography in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and an Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He is a geochemist whose research focuses on air-sea gas exchange in coastal and open oceans environments, the carbon cycle in mangrove and coral reef ecosystems, and the use of tracers to study transport processes in aquatic systems. Over his career, he has authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications and conducted research in all five oceans and in all seven continents on Earth.

Dr. Kristy Kroeker is an Associate Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz and a core faculty member in the Coastal Science and Policy Graduate Program at UC Santa Cruz. Her research examines the ecological effects of climate change, ocean acidification, and deoxygenation on marine communities and ecosystems, with a focus on the coastal communities spanning the West Coast of the United States and Alaska. In addition, her research addresses how actions at a local-scale can offset the effects of global change on marine ecosystems to protect both nature and people. Kroeker is a Packard Fellow in Science and Engineering, a Sloan Fellow in Ocean Sciences, and a UC Climate Action Champion. In addition, she sits on the Scientific Advisory Team of the California Ocean Protection Council as well as the advisory committee for the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Center, the leading intergovernmental body facilitating international collaboration and capacity building for ocean acidification research worldwide.

Dr. William Tarpeh is an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University. The Tarpeh Lab develops and evaluates selective separations in “waste” waters at several synergistic scales: molecular mechanisms of chemical transport and transformation; novel unit processes that increase resource efficiency; and systems-level assessments that identify optimization opportunities. Will completed his B.S. in chemical engineering at Stanford, his M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental engineering at UC Berkeley, and postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan in environmental engineering. Will has recently been honored as an Environmental Science & TechnologyEarly Career Scientist, Forbes’ “30 Under 30” 2019 Science List, Gulf Research Program Early Career Fellow, and Chemical and Engineering News Talented 12.

Dr. David Koweek is the Science Director of Ocean Visions, Inc., where he is responsible for the accuracy and integrity of the science underpinning Ocean Visions activities. David is trained as an oceanographer and marine scientist. He has led and participated in field expeditions all across the world, including on the Great Barrier Reef, the Ross Sea, the California coast, the Sargasso Sea, and natural carbon dioxide vents off Italy. An expert in evaluating the geophysical potential of various ocean solutions, David is a frequent participant in research conferences and expert-level panels, including recent panels for the Energy Futures Initiative, the Foundation for Climate Restoration, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. His scholarly works have been published in top-tier journals, including Nature. Prior to his role with Ocean Visions, David was a postdoctoral research scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science. He holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a B.S. from Brown University.

Ocean-Based Carbon Dioxide Draft Road Maps Open for Public Comment Through April 16

Ocean Visions has been working to develop technology road maps to accelerate the testing and development of ocean-based carbon dioxide removal approaches.

We are opening up the draft contents of these road maps for a public comment period until Friday, April 16, 2021. Access the draft road maps and feedback form here. We invite you to comment on as many road maps as you wish.

The final road maps will be released on an interactive web platform at the upcoming Ocean Visions Summit in May 2021.

Cleaning up the most dangerous pollutant

With help from Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, Ocean Visions is working to accelerate the pace of marine carbon dioxide removal

Reposted from Schmidt Marine Technology Press

Every second of every day, the equivalent of five Hiroshima-sized bombs’ worth of heat energy is absorbed by the ocean—the result of greenhouse gasses put into the air by human activities. “The oceans are absorbing a staggering amount of heat,” says Brad Ack, a Schmidt Marine Technology Partners’ grantee and executive director of Ocean Visions. “This silent catastrophe is destroying much of what we care about in the ocean.” Additionally, the ocean absorbs about 30% of human-caused carbon pollution.

Together, excess heat and carbon dioxide are bleaching corals, melting sea ice, and acidifying the sea at alarming rates. Yet few organizations are addressing the root cause of these problems. That’s where Ocean Visions comes in. Founded in 2019 by a dozen of the world’s most respected ocean science organizations, including the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and Stanford University, Ocean Visions is a research consortium and network dedicated to solving to the ocean’s most pressing problems—starting with the carbon dioxide pollution that’s leading to rapid warming and acidification.

A new path, backed by science

Until recently, most efforts to mitigate climate change have focused on stemming the flow of greenhouse gasses emissions into the atmosphere. But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that alone, turning off the tap won’t keep global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius. We also need to remove billions of tons of “legacy” carbon dioxide already poisoning our air and water.

To that end, Ocean Visions’ first goal is to identify the most promising technologies for increasing the ocean’s capacity to sequester and permanently store carbon dioxide in marine environments. While carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is beginning to gain acceptance as a critical tool, removing carbon dioxide from the ocean has remained relatively underexplored compared to terrestrial approaches. Yet the ocean holds enormous potential to increase it’s already-outsized role in carbon cycling, and to do so by mimicking and enhancing natural and geological processes already underway.

Ocean Visions is taking a leadership role in drawing attention and resources towards a methodological approach to technology development, backed by top scientists and conservationists. So far, the team has is working on three main focus areas. The first is cultivating macro-algae, such as giant kelp, which removes carbon from the ocean in the same way that trees remove carbon from the atmosphere.

The second is adding alkaline substances, such as lime or natural minerals, to the ocean to reduce acidity. Known as ocean alkalization, this process converts marine carbon dioxide to other, harmless molecules. The ocean then sucks more carbon dioxide from the air to restore equilibrium.

The last method is separating carbon dioxide from seawater using electrochemical processes, similar to the way direct air capture technology removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Ocean Visions isn’t deploying these technologies itself. Instead, it’s providing a platform for researchers, businesses and others to work together on the highest priority developmental areas to ultimately figure out if these are, in fact, sustainable, equitable and scalable solutions for reducing carbon dioxide pollution in the world’s oceans.

Mapping the future of carbon dioxide removal

Schmidt Marine is providing vital support for Ocean Visions’ work. In summer 2020, Schmidt Marine helped fund a series of workshops hosted by Ocean Visions, in which experts identified the current state of each technology, the challenges and obstacles each face, the social and environmental costs and the next steps. The findings will soon be published in an open-source online roadmap. Researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs will be able to pull from and add to the map, eventually advancing carbon dioxide removal technologies toward testing, deployment and commercialization.

“Essentially, Schmidt’s funding is pivotal in the development of technology roadmaps,” Ack explains.

Over the next decade, Ack hopes that these roadmaps will help move ocean-based carbon dioxide removal from an undervalued tool to a widely-deployed strategy in the fight against climate change. It’s a shift that can’t come soon enough. “The ocean has shielded humanity and terrestrial biodiversity from the worst ravages of climate change so far, but it has borne an enormous cost in doing so,” he says. “It’s continuing to bear that cost, but its tolerance is running out.”

Ocean Visions Expert Panel to Advise & Evaluate Carbon Dioxide Removal Experiment

Ocean Visions works to transform science and engineering into scalable, equitable, and sustainable ocean solutions.  In furtherance of this mission, Ocean Visions has partnered with the Grantham Environment Trust to evaluate and advance effective ocean-based climate solutions.  Under this agreement, Ocean Visions and the Grantham Environmental Trust work together to evaluate the science and engineering of proposed ocean-climate innovations, and Ocean Visions provides third-party advice and assistance on research, development, field testing, impact analysis, and optimization to Grantham Environmental Trust grantees.

Maine Startup Aims To Pull Carbon Out Of The Atmosphere By Growing — And Then Sinking — Kelp Farms – Listed to NPR News Special

We are pleased to announce our first initiative under the Ocean Visions-Grantham Environmental Trust Partnership.  Ocean Visions has assembled a team of experts to advise and independently evaluate a research project being conducted by Running Tide Technologies, Inc., a company that specializes in scalable aquaculture solutions. Running Tide intends to conduct a field trial in 2021 of a technology to grow seaweeds (macroalgae) with the intent of sequestering carbon. This field trial will determine the efficacy and impacts of a proprietary system of open ocean kelp farming for carbon sequestration.

We have a “Superfund Site” of carbon pollution in our air and ocean. We will not have a healthy ocean until we clean it up. New carbon removal technologies are a fundamental part of the solution.” – EIN Press Release

Ocean Visions’ Expert Team will provide external, third-party review of Running Tide’s research plans and all findings that come from the field trial.  Specifically, the OV Expert Team will:

  • Review Running Tide’s research plan and provide feedback on ways to optimize the design and implementation to maximize performance, efficacy and data integrity.
  • Review potential environmental risks and upstream and downstream impacts of the field trial and advise on how to minimize any potential negative impacts.
  • Provide review and advice on design of monitoring systems and protocols to measure overall performance, and in particular, carbon sequestration and environmental impacts of the field trial.
  • Review results of the field trial as they become available.
  • Provide an independent final report to Running Tide, the Grantham Environmental Trust, and the interested public on the overall effort, the validity of the findings, any areas of disagreement and suggested next steps with respect to the field trial.

OV Expert Team members include Jim Barry, Tom Bell, Annalisa Branco, Wil Burns and Alex Rogers, as well as David Koweek, Ocean Visions Science Director and Brad Ack, Ocean Visions Executive Director.  Short biographies for team members are below.

For further information, please contact Brad Ack, Executive Director, Ocean Visions at brad.ack@oceanvisions.org or Justine Simon at Running Tide at justine@runningtide.com.s

“Ocean Visions involvement is critical to our mission at Running Tide” says Marty Odlin, Running Tide CEO and Founder. “Collaborations between academia and our team will expedite our goal of removing carbon dioxide on the gigaton scale in the coming years.” – PRWeb Press Release

Ocean Visions Expert Team Brief Biographies

  • Jim Barry, a Senior Scientist and Chair of the Research Division at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) is a marine ecologist whose research focuses on the consequences of climate-related changes in ocean conditions, including ocean acidification, warming, and reduced oxygen levels, for marine organisms and ecosystems. Jim’s research spans topics from the ecology of rocky shores to deep-sea corals and sponges, and from California shores to the coastal waters of Antarctica. Dr Barry has published over 150 scientific papers, and has helped inform the public and policy-makers on ocean acidification, ocean carbon sequestration, and climate change by speaking at congressional hearings, briefings, and meetings with members of Congress.
  • Tom Bell is an ecosystem ecologist at the Earth Research Institute at UC Santa Barbara, that studies the dynamics of coastal foundation species (kelps, seagrasses, corals) over large space and time scales. Specifically, he uses a combination of field and laboratory studies, statistical and mechanistic models, and satellite/aerial remote sensing to understand how the abundance and physiology of coastal foundation species, and their associated ecological communities, are spatially structured by environmental dynamics and biotic interactions. He has authored over 30 peer-reviewed publications and has also been developing aerial and underwater imaging techniques to quantify the growth, biomass, and tissue content qualities of kelp grown on offshore aquaculture farms.
  • Annalisa Bracco is a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech.  She is a physical oceanographer and her group’ research focuses on understanding the role of the ocean circulation in transporting and mixing physical and biogeochemical tracers. She is interested in linking physical processes to climate variability, biodiversity and evolution by combining basic and applied sciences with innovative modeling tools, data mining and dynamical systems theory.  She has authored over 80 peer-reviewed publications and received the AMS 2011 Nicholas Fofonoff Award for contributions to understanding mesoscale ocean dynamics, geostrophic turbulence, and tropical dynamics, and their coupling with marine ecosystems.
  • Wil Burns is a Visiting Professor, Environmental Policy & Climate program at Northwestern University and a Professor of Research and Founding Co-Director of the Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC. He is also a Senior Research Fellow for the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association. He has published over 80 articles and chapters in law, science, and policy journals and books, and has co-edited four books. He holds a Ph.D. in International Environmental Law from the University of Wales-Cardiff School of Law. His current areas of research focus are climate geoengineering, climate loss and damage, and the effectiveness of the European Union’s Emissions Trading System.
  • Alex Rogers is a marine ecologist who is interested in how biodiversity is distributed in the ocean, especially in the deep sea and on tropical coral reefs. He is also interested in human impacts on the ocean and how to manage human activities to mitigate or reduce degradation of marine ecosystems. His work has taken him to the Atlantic, Indian and Southern Oceans and to the Caribbean investigating coral reef ecosystems, seamounts and deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Alex has worked with governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations in publicising human impacts, especially those from deep-sea fishing and climate change, and on the development of policy solutions to such problems. He is Scientific Director of REV Ocean a foundation aimed at finding solutions to problems affecting the ocean as well as Visiting Professor, Department of Zoology, and Senior Research Fellow, Somerville College, University of Oxford.

Ocean Visions Staff Members:

  • David Koweek is the Science Director for Ocean Visions and co-leads Ocean Visions’ efforts to support the development and testing of ocean-based carbon dioxide removal approaches. David is trained as a chemical oceanographer and marine scientist. He has led and participated in field expeditions across the world, including on the Great Barrier Reef, the Ross Sea, the California coast, the Sargasso Sea, and natural carbon dioxide vents off Italy. David scholarly works have been published in top-tier journals, including Nature. Prior to his role with Ocean Visions, David was a postdoctoral research scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science. He holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a B.S. from Brown University.
  • Brad Ack is the Executive Director and Chief Innovation Officer at Ocean Visions.  Prior to joining Ocean Visions, Brad served as Senior Vice President, Oceans at WWF-US; Regional Director-Americas for the Marine Stewardship Council; and Executive Director of the Puget Sound Recovery Program in the State of Washington.  Brad has a long track record of environmental innovation spanning the tropical forests of Latin America, to the high deserts of the American southwest, to the Pacific NW and work throughout the global ocean.  Brad has worked for both government and NGOs at senior levels, in concert with the private sector, designing and implementing conservation and sustainability initiatives.