“Global Challenge, Global Solutions” is a series hosted on Climasphere highlighting inspiring, innovative, and creative global solutions to the challenge of climate change in the lead up to the next major climate conference, COP22. These solutions have been provided by members of the Earth To Marrakech coalition, a group of more than 50 media organizations, civil society groups, and businesses from around the world who are raising their voices in a collective call to move from words to action on climate change. Let’s send a message, from Earth To Marrakech: The solutions to climate change are out there, and they’re inspiring.
Vertical Ocean Farming Creates Healthy Ecosystems
GreenWave has created a system for vertical ocean farming, where seaweed, scallops, and mussels grow on floating ropes, stacked above oyster and clam cages below. The ocean farms are systems of underwater vertical gardens, able to grow 10 to 30 tons of sea vegetables and 250,000 shellfish on each acre per year. From these crops, food, fertilizer, animal feed, and sustainable biofuels are produced. According to the company, the kelp produced absorbs five times more carbon than land-based plants, and the crops do not require any fertilizers, fresh water, antibiotics, or pesticides.
Rather than growing vulnerable monocultures, this approach creates biodiverse ecosystems using the entire water column in production. With a replicable model enabling those with a boat and $20,000 in start-up costs to start their own farm, GreenWave has partnered with farmers to create a total of eight farms in a two-year period.
RELEVANCE OF SOLUTION
Nearly 40% of the world’s oceans are severely affected by human activities, resulting in pollution, exhausted fisheries, and loss of coastal habitats. Designed to restore rather than deplete ocean ecosystems, GreenWave’s ocean farms increase biodiversity and restoration in areas where ecosystems are suffering, if not completely depleted.
TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE:
Marine species absorb five times more carbon than land-based plants and sequester excess nitrogen.
GreenWave provides its Farm Startup and Apprenticeships Programs at no charge to new farmers in an effort to help them secure jobs in the emerging blue-green economy.
Farmers receive guaranteed purchasing of 80% of their crops at triple the market rate for the first five years, according to GreenWave.