Greenhouse Gas Reduction
Blue Carbon & CO2e Removal or Avoidance
The ability of marine ecosystems and species to capture carbon ("blue carbon") is essential to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Mangroves and salt marshes, for example, remove carbon 10 times faster (and store five times more of it) per acre than tropical forests. SOA supports coastal communities in sustainably managing these vital ecosystems.
Grantee Photo: Carbon Ethics (Indonesia)
Fisheries, Aquaculture, & Seafood Alternatives
Fish provide 3.3 billion people with 20% of their animal protein—and up to 10% of people worldwide rely on fishing for their livelihood. Supporting fisheries science, policy, and innovation will allow fish and fishing communities to adapt and survive climate change.
Grantee Photo: Ocean Purpose Project (Singapore)
Ecosystems and Species
Preservation & Restoration
Circular Use, Waste Removal or Avoidance
Greenhouse Gas Reduction: Blue Carbon & CO2e Removal or Avoidance
Kelp Forest Foundation
Kelp Forest Foundation researcher, Protasius Mutijda measures the biogeochemical impact of farmed giant kelp off the coast of Namibia to inform a kelp Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) model.
Edinburgh Napier University
Edward Mutwiri Mwikamba, a plant ecologist and PhD student at Edinburgh Napier University, focuses on studying the factors driving changes in seagrass coverage and health in Kenya.
Mwikamba's project aims to develop cost-effective methods for measuring and reporting seagrass health. The project will compare two approaches: analyzing video and images using artificial intelligence and manual monitoring through point count and transect methods. The ultimate goal is to identify the most effective methodology to enable community-based conservation efforts funded by bundling recorded, but not accredited, carbon benefits with mangrove credits.
Leader: Edward Mutwiri Mwikamba, 35
Carbon Ethics researches and restores coastal ecosystems through planting of mangroves and seagrass, sequestering over 2.5 tonnes of metric carbon.
They aim to expand and improve their blue carbon initiatives in Dompak and Pangkil Islands by identifying a suitable restoration site, establishing a mangrove nursery, and improving waste reduction infrastructure. They will also be planting 2000 mangroves per month as part of their ongoing efforts, and designing capacity-building exercises to support local communities in the region.
Leader: Indri Addini, 29
Blue Foods: Fisheries, Aquaculture, & Seafood Alternatives
Noble Ocean Farms
Alaska, United States of America
Noble Ocean Farms is dedicated to cultivating and harvesting kelp in the Alaskan Eyak community, contributing to food security and ecosystem health.
Alongside their kelp cultivation efforts, Noble Ocean Farms also conducts workshops, training individuals from the local community on how to build their own kelp farming ventures, with workshops on growing, harvesting, and processing.
In total, Noble Ocean Farms cultivated and harvested 3,720 pounds of kelp during the project period - three times the amount previously harvested in one growing season.
Leader: Skye Steritz, 29
Mote Marine Labratory
Florida, United States of America
Kaitlin Harrington, a Research Technician at Mote, is generating hotspot maps of high catch and low bycatch locations to assist fishers and other fishery management partners.
After collecting data contributed by fishing vessels, hotspot maps are generated for fishers in the Gulf of Mexico.
The data offered by these maps are valuable to fisheries managers, who can utilize them to manage stocks more effectively, enabling sustainable practices that ensure the fishery's health in the long term.
Moving forward, with the implementation of automated mapping and the valuable feedback received, Kaitlin and her team are steadily increasing the number of maps provided to the industry.
Leader: Kaitlin Harrington, 22
Kailua, HI, United States of America
Reeler is a mobile app that connects fishers directly with consumers for affordable, traceable, and fresher fish.
The company’s commitment to only allowing small-scale, line-caught or artisanal fishing methods with minimal bycatch and environmental impact empowers consumers to make ethical and eco-friendly choices while educating them about the fish they consume.
Reeler is increasing its fulfillment rate, growing its customer base to 1,000+ users, and generating $100,000+ in sales for sustainable fishers in the Hawaiian Islands.
This has had a positive impact on Native Hawaiian and other Pacific island groups, who now have more affordable access to fresher, sustainably harvested seafood. It has also benefited indigenous fishermen, who can now earn a higher value for their catch.
Leader: Spencer VanDerKamp, 24
Ecosystems and Species: Preservation & Restoration
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
In an effort to restore Buyuni reef, Aqua-Farms is employing a community-based restoration approach.
Over the past two decades, Buyuni reef, a crucial breeding and nursery site for vulnerable fish species, has endured substantial damage caused by climate change and destructive fishing practices. The local community took action by designating a 4000 square meter area of Buyuni as a locally managed area in early 2022.
Aqua-Farms restoration plan involves replanting 1000 coral fragments across a 400 square meter area, with a larger goal of ultimately restoring 1 square kilometer of the reef by 2030.
Leader: Nancy Iraba, 28
Carolina Ocean Alliance
Charleston, South Carolina, United States of America
SOA Charleston joined forces with Marshkeepers to restore one of the last remaining tidal salt marshes on the Charleston peninsula.
Komunitas Sinara Kaimana
Kaimana, West Papua, Indonesia
The project aims to accelerate the recovery of degraded reefs and enhance the population of critical species in a marine protected area.
This is being accomplished by installing 60 coral spider structures and establishing five coral nurseries. In addition, residents of three local communities are receiving training in coral conservation. The project leaders are also working towards implementing village regulations to enforce the protection of the marine ecosystem in Kaimana.
Leader: Dennis Kurniawan, 28
Pollution Reduction: Circular Use, Waste Removal or Avoidance
Mymizu (“mizu” is water in Japanese) provides a free water refill platform that connects people to 200,000+ locations globally where they can refill their water bottle.
They are developing "Action Packages" specifically designed for city governments, nonprofits, schools, universities, and companies to serve as a valuable resource to facilitate self-organization and expansion of the mymizu movement. Their goal is to double the number of partner stores from 2,250 to 5,000 by 2024.
Furthermore, they are actively exploring opportunities to establish chapters in Vietnam, Kenya, and Ethiopia, thus expanding the reach and impact of mymizu in these regions.
Leader: Robin Takashi Lewis, 34
Angra dos Reis, Brazil
Beatriz, an oceanographer and the founder of Marulho, is collaborating with traditional coastal communities to repurpose fishing nets that would otherwise be discarded.
This initiative not only prevents fishing nets from becoming abandoned in the ocean, but also transforms them into useful products like bags and purses, generating income for the communities involved. Handmade by the fishers and inhabitants of these coastal areas, these products are crafted using traditional knowledge and sold throughout Brazil.
Leader: Beatriz Mattiuzzo, 28
Natura sin Basura
Puerto Real, Spain
Natura sin Basura focuses on environmental education and direct restoration conservation of the Bay of Cadiz Natural Park.
To promote the conservation of this ecosystem, Natura sin Basura conducts environmental education workshops, cleanups, and ongoing monitoring. Their aim is to raise awareness about the importance of seagrass and salt marshes in providing ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, and to mitigate the impact of local pollution.
Leader: Alvaro Adame Rodriguez, 32
Ocean Data, Literacy, and Research
OnDeck Fisheries AI
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Alexander Dungate founded OnDeck, which uses cloud-based AI to review fishing vessel videos and provide real-time reporting of catch and bycatch.
This innovative approach enhances electronic monitoring, leading to improved policy and action based on valuable data insights.
Over the course of their fellowship, OnDeck achieved an incredible 85% accuracy in fish detection through their monitoring software prototype, and testing by a monitoring company in Canada indicates that their software could cut fisheries monitoring costs by 40-60% for pelagic longline fleets.
Leader, Alexander Dungate, 24:
SOA's ability to deploy early-stage impact capital quickly, and bring impactful project leaders together is unparalleled. SOA has been one of the most practical & beneficial partners to help us scale.
Project TransforMar is working with youth and low income students, providing online marine biology classes and organizing scuba-diving excursions to bring the ocean to life for them.
The team has planned several initiatives to promote awareness and support conservation efforts in Brazil, which include establishing a coral nursery in a nearby public school, assessing the conservation status of the Paraty mangrove, providing students with diving opportunities to learn about marine life, and emphasizing the significance of Brazil's expansive coastline and mangrove communities in contributing to global blue carbon sequestration.
Leader: Giovanna Scagnolatto, 29
Honolulu, Hawai'i, United States of America
Ocean Uprise, a youth-led movement, brings together ocean leaders to connect, be inspired by ocean experts, and learn how to design, plan, and put into action their own community projects.
SOA supported 20 interns, aged 16-26 years, in developing their own projects to create impactful change in their own communities; examples include: native plant restoration, cleanups, documentary screenings, educational talks, community inspiration events, artivism projects, fundraisers, and more.
To date, 68 Ocean Uprise interns from 28 countries have participated, planting and restoring 5,800 native species, recovering 5,000kg of debris from cleanups, and educating 4,000 youth.
Leader: Shannon Ball, 24