Making Waves: Summer 2023 Community News Roundup — Part 2


SOA Blog

Sustainable Ocean Alliance is accelerating ocean solutions around the world. Here are their stories.

Sustainable Ocean Alliance exists to propel global solutions to our ocean's greatest challenges — and to empower the leaders behind them. Amplifying these stories is at the core of what we do at SOA, inspiring others to take action for the ocean within their communities and beyond. 

From plastic innovation in California to women's leadership training in Fiji, we share the latest news and highlights spotlighting SOA’s growing network of solutions, hubs, representatives, mentors, and more.

SOA Startups


What Plastic Pollution? These Companies Are Making Packaging Disappear 

SOA Startup: B’ZEOS (2021 4th Cohort)

About 40% of the world’s plastic production is for packaging, so finding alternatives to plastic packaging that do not harm the environment is critical for reducing the global impact of plastic consumption and pollution. SOA startup, B’ZEOS, boasts the promise of seaweed as an eco-friendly replacement for plastic packaging.



Akua launches kid-friendly kelp burgers

SOA Startup: AKUA (2020 3rd Cohort)

Seaweed-based food company, AKUA, has teamed up with Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants to introduce kid-friendly versions of their ocean-farmed kelp burgers.

The AKUA and SpongeBob SquarePants collaboration is a natural extension of Operation Sea Change – Nickelodeon's recently launched global ocean conservation and sustainability initiative. The associated crowdfunding campaign to invest in AKUA will run through mid-October via Republic.


Cruz Foam partners with local businesses to offer sustainable shipping foam

SOA Startup: Cruz Foam (2019 2nd Cohort)

Based in Santa Cruz, California, Cruz Foam is partnering with local businesses to develop environmentally friendly shipping foam solutions, demonstrating their commitment to sustainable practices both in the region and beyond. 

In this CBS News feature, Cruz Foam and Verve Coffee Roasters discuss their partnership to bring sustainable packaging to the coffee industry, including Cruz Foam’s latest innovation, Cruz Cool—the startup’s first curbside recyclable cold chain product providing 48-hour insulation and protection for conventional cold chain e-commerce fulfillment.



Ales Grey Teams Up With Sway To Reinvent Shoe Packaging

SOA Startup: Sway (2021 5th Cohort)

Shoe brand, Ales Grey, has partnered with sustainable materials innovator, Sway, to revolutionize shoe packaging, replacing traditional cardboard boxes with compostable seaweed-based packaging.

With this new partnership, Sway is able to help remove the need for secondary boxes and provide a 100% biobased, rapidly compostable film to guard against dust and scuffing while eliminating over 50% of the overall packaging.


oceanworksOceanworks launches the Plastic Action Dashboard

SOA Startup: Oceanworks (2020 3rd Cohort)

To better enable brand partners to seamlessly track and communicate their sustainable plastic programs, Oceanworks has launched the Plastic Action Dashboard—enhancing transparency and communication with consumers and supporting internal functions.

The Plastic Action Dashboard is built upon Oceanworks Track & Trace encrypted ledger data captured at each point in the supply chain, documenting the movement of plastic waste as it’s diverted from the environment and returned to the circular economy through Oceanworks’ sustainable plastic solutions.



Hohonu wins the 2023 Inno Fire Awards by Pacific Business News

SOA Startup: Hohonu (2021 4th Cohort)

Founder & CEO of Hohonu, Dr. Brian Glazer, has been acknowledged in the 2023 Inno Fire Awards by Pacific Business News for his contributions to the sustainability sector in Hawai’i. This is the first year of the Inno Fire Awards, celebrating the startups and innovators driving progress in Hawai’i.


Winners of Uplink’s Great Blue Wall Challenge Announced

SOA Startups: Whale Seeker (2021 4th Cohort), Seawater Solutions (2021 4th Cohort)

Both having participated in the 2021 4th Wave Cohort of SOA’s Ocean Solution Accelerator, Whale Seeker and Seawater Solutions were simultaneously selected as winners of the Great Blue Wall Challenge, spotlighting ocean-positive startups aligned with the Great Blue Wall Initiative and supported by partners Friends of Ocean Action, IUCN, OceanHub Africa, and Mitsubishi Corporation Fund.


hohonu-1Climate Resiliency Challenge Unveils New Solutions to Address Climate-related Disasters 

SOA Startup: Hohonu (2021 4th Cohort)

Hohonu was selected as a winner of the Mid-Stage Solutions: Growth Stage Innovators in the IDEO Climate Resiliency Challenge. The Challenge invited innovators from around the globe to share their world-changing climate solutions for the chance to win a share of $1M in prize money. 


ecospears-1Sergie Albino Builds ecoSPEARS To Remove “Forever Chemicals” From The Environment

SOA Startup: ecoSPEARS (2021 5th Cohort)

Founder & CEO of ecoSPEARS, Sergie Albino, has been featured in Forbes for his innovation in removing "toxic forever chemicals" known as PFAS from the environment. PFAS, or per/poly-fluoroalkyl substances, make up hundreds of everyday products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water. 

Often linked to cancer, reproductive issues, and other diseases, PFAS can build up in our bodies and in the environment. ecoSPEARS has designed and successfully developed a sustainable remediation technology to extract and permanently remove these harmful chemicals from the environment at scale.


arcmarineBenthic invertebrate biodiversity enhancement with reef cubes®, evidenced by environmental DNA analysis of sediment samples

SOA Startup: ARCMarine (2020 3rd Cohort)

A UK-based study conducted by ARCMarine, in partnership with The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), showed the effectiveness of ARCMarine’s patented reefcubes® in enhancing invertebrate biodiversity as an artificial reef system. To determine this, ARCMarine Chief Scientific Officer, Samuel Hickling, used eDNA to examine the sediment surrounding the test site.

This groundbreaking paper represents a significant milestone in ARCMarine’s science-driven, innovative solutions and their mission to ensure the restoration of reefs on a global scale.


blue ocean gearThe Future of Fishing: How Blue Ocean Gear’s Smart Buoys Are Changing the Game

SOA Startup: Blue Ocean Gear (2019 2nd Cohort)

Blue Ocean Gear aims to revolutionize the fishing industry through smart-buoy technology capable of counting catches, reducing lost gear, cutting emissions, and transmitting data in real-time. 

In partnership with the Gulf Blue Navigator program, Blue Ocean Gear has been testing its technology in the Gulf of Mexico while working with local communities and fishers. SeaAhead’s Annabel Grocott sits down with Blue Ocean Gear’s Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer, Peter Macy, to talk about the future of the sustainable fishing industry.



SOA Hubs

soa pacific

Women's leadership program to address climate change in Fiji

SOA Hub: Pacific Islands

SOA Pacific Islands, in collaboration with the French Embassy to Fiji, organized a learning program for six Fijian women in New Caledonia to advance their understanding and awareness of climate change, climate leadership, women empowerment, ocean health, sustainability, and maritime in Fiji.

The group visited various institutions in New Caledonia through the learning program such as the University of New Caledonia, the French National Research Institute for Development, the Kiwa Initiative Secretariat Office, and the Maritime Museum.


soa brasil

Indigenous activists gather in Brazil to discuss future of the Amazon 

SOA Hubs: Brasil, Garopaba, and Peru

SOA Hub Leaders from SOA Brasil, Garopaba, and Peru attended Diálogos Amazônicos—a pre-COP conference held in Belém, Brasil—to advocate on behalf of concerned youth regarding the interconnection of the Amazon rainforest and the ocean and protecting both from environmental degradation, exploitation, and biodiversity loss. 

Throughout the conference, these SOA Hubs coordinated activities and efforts to meet with and amplify Amazonian youth taking action to defend their territories, raise awareness, and advocate for the health of our planet.


soa caribbean dsm art exhibit

Caribbean art exhibit portrays the threatened beauty of the ocean as deep-sea mining negotiations come to an end in Jamaica 

SOA Hub: Caribbean

A deep-sea-inspired art exhibit, Ocean Depths Unveiled: Preserving the Abyss, was held in Kingston, Jamaica in parallel to the ongoing negotiations on deep-sea mining at the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to raise awareness about the destructive industry. 

Organized by Ecovybz Environmental Creatives and SOA Caribbean, this “artivism” exhibition celebrated the wonders of the deep sea and the artists behind the work, while sending a message that our planet's greatest ally against climate change must be protected and preserved—not exploited. 

Event organizer and SOA Regional Representative for the Caribbean, Khadija Stewart, shared her thoughts about the exhibition:

“The deep ocean is an absolutely magical place with slow-moving, luminous species, ancient corals, unique life forms, and incredible geological features. However, it is something far removed from our realities and everyday life. So through art, the goal of the exhibition was to bring the deep ocean to life, to connect delegates, civil society, NGOs, governments, and more to see that this world is worth protecting, so they can understand why we need to defend the deep and stop deep-sea mining.”


soa mexico dsm

SOA Advances as an Observer at the ISA and Mexico Highlights the Importance of Scientific Research

SOA Hub: Mexico

Thanks to the tireless efforts of SOA’s deep-sea mining policy team and our incredible youth delegates, SOA was approved on July 25 as an official Observer of the ISA to greater partake in the ongoing negotiations on deep-sea mining—opening the opportunity to more than 7,000 young people from more than 165 countries around the world to bring their unique insight as young leaders to the table. 

In addition to this significant organizational milestone, leaders from SOA Mexico had the opportunity to deliver over 80,000 signatures to their country delegate at the ISA, Marcelino Miranda—furthering their momentum to encourage Mexico to join the moratorium on deep-sea mining. 


soa philippines

A Mermaid’s Point of View Webinar Series

SOA Hub: Philippines

In partnership with CICCADA, a sustainable fashion movement that champions a waste-free planet, SOA Philippines launched a mini webinar series on sustainable fashion and how we humans can take part in bettering the world, one garment at a time. The webinar series, entitled "A Mermaids POV", emphasizes what fashion can do to our ocean and marine life. 


soa caribbean wod

Volunteers clear underwater 'garbage heap' 

SOA Hub: Caribbean

On this year's World Oceans Day, a team of volunteers from SOA Caribbean participated in a massive beach clean-up in Montego Bay, Jamaica—removing over 250 pounds of waterlogged waste from the ocean. Items included tires, single-use plastic utensils, water bottles, and more. 

SOA Caribbean’s Nasya Jones was quoted as saying she hopes to see a change in people’s behavior when it comes to ocean pollution. “A lot of people think that their contribution is minor because it's one person [throwing away] one fork. But you could see a lot of forks down there, so it does make a big impact," she stressed.



SOA Partners

PA2 ansroux

The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Unveils its RE.Generation Future Leaders Program 

SOA Partner: Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation; SOA Young Ocean Leader: Anne-Sophie Roux

Aligned with its commitment to the younger generations, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation has launched a new initiative, the RE.Generation Program, to strengthen the leadership skills of young talents committed to preserving the planet while offering them a space where their voices can be heard. 

The RE.Generation Program’s first cohort was announced in July, including SOA’s very own Ecopreneur Network Member and Regional Representative for France, Anne-Sophie Roux.



OCEANOVATION Festival makes waves in the Netherlands


From June 21-22, the inaugural OCEANOVATION Festival welcomed over 300 ocean enthusiasts and changemakers to The Hague, Netherlands for two days of in-depth discussions, networking, and collaboration opportunities.

The event was an exciting blend of innovation and passion that brought together ocean ecopreneurs and blue investors under one roof to focus on technologies and solutions needed to grow the blue economy in a sustainable way.

SOA was a proud partner of this initiative, with several members of our Ecopreneur Network—including Aquaai and planblue—actively participating in the event. 



SOA Representatives, Mentors, Youth Leaders, and More

Life on Planet A: Reforming the Deep Sea

SOA Science & Policy Advisor: Emily Tewes

Life on Planet A podcast invited on SOA’s Science & Policy Advisor, Emily Tewes, to discuss the world of deep-sea mining and the untold stories of the International Seabed Authority (ISA). In this episode, Emily spotlights the compelling stories of nations like Costa Rica, Chile, and France that are championing a call for a moratorium on deep-sea mining and what is at stake. 


Greenwashing Fast Fashion's Dirty Laundry Into Art

SOA Mentor: Benjamin Von Wong

“Despite more and more brands using terms like eco-friendly, recyclable, and sustainable, most of it is just greenwashing.” – Benjamin Von Wong, Artist, Activist, & SOA Mentor

To call out the greenwashing of the fashion industry and to inspire consumers to take action, Artist, Activist, and SOA Mentor, Benjamin Von Wong, teamed up with art curators at Kunstverein Ludwigsburg to bring fast fashion to the forefront of the climate conversation through an immersive art installation.  By working with creators, artists, students, and volunteers, the artists collected an entire truckload of discarded clothes and built intricate structures and sets to develop an exhibit that is reminiscent of a world overrun by clothes.


The 360 on Energy & Carbon: Sustainable Ocean Alliance with Brandon Levy

SOA Chief Program Officer: Brandon Levy

SOA’s Brandon Levy, joined podcast hosts John Pooley and Lysandra Naom on the 360 on Energy & Carbon to discuss all things Sustainable Ocean Alliance, from our mission and programs to our supporters and ocean impact. 


oped ansrouxDeep Sea Mining: How Seabed Mining Threatens Our Future 

SOA Regional Representative for France: Anne-Sophie Roux

In this powerful op-ed, Anne-Sophie Roux rallies for the movement against deep-sea mining as she discusses the role of the deep ocean in the climate and biodiversity crises, the direct and indirect impacts of deep-sea mining, the growing concerns over the International Seabed Authority, and the global momentum for a moratorium on the destructive industry. 


dsm radio ansrouxAnne-Sophie Roux: Don't open Pandora's box. The seabed is a powerful ally in the fight against climate change

SOA Regional Representative for France: Anne-Sophie Roux

Following Canada’s announcement in favor of a moratorium on deep-sea mining, SOA’s Anne-Sophie Roux spoke to Janic Tremblay, host of Radio Canada’s Midi Info podcast, regarding this major announcement and other champion countries who have joined the movement to stop deep-sea mining.



Thanks for reading! 

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