When people ask us how seasteads will impact the environment, we often respond that those who call the ocean “home” will have the strongest desire to keep it healthy and clean. But given that much of the ocean is already ailing, seasteads must go a step further, and take an active lead in its stewardship. Getting governments around the world to reach a consensus on workable solutions to problems like overfishing and ocean acidification has proven a challenge, leading many to view technological progress as the last best hope for our oceans and the populations that depend on their natural bounty. Accordingly, the Institute recently initiated Project OASIS (Ocean Algae for Seastead Integrated Solutions) to stimulate innovation in restorative marine aquaculture and sustainable ocean technology.
The last century’s Green Revolution provided much-needed food for the world’s booming population, but sometimes at the cost of habitat destruction and soil degradation. We are excited to feature KZO Sea Farms as our first case study because of their pioneering role in the more eco-friendly “Blue Revolution” (a phrase trademarked by ocean energy giant and friend of the Institute Patrick Takahashi). We first spoke to KZO’s founder and CEO Phil Cruver a few weeks ago, when OASIS was first taking shape. He talked to us about his company’s imminent plans to develop the first shellfish farm in US Federal Waters, nine miles from the coast of Long Beach, California, and why shellfish farms are the most likely operation to succeed offshore in the near term. Cruver also spoke about how he is positioning KZO Sea Farms as the poster child for sustainable mariculture within with two new regulatory frameworks (one state and one federal).
The Restore the Olys project, one of Cruver’s recent nonprofit initiatives, garnered local coverage last week for recreating oyster habitats in the Jack Dunster Marine Biological Reserve. During low tide, a group of volunteers and researchers laid nearly two tons of empty oyster shells along the estuarial bed. The new habitat will bring oyster populations closer to their original levels, before pollution and over-harvesting depleted them, and improve the health and clarity of the surrounding waters. These efforts have earned Cruver an impressive array of support, including endorsements from a former director of NOAA’s National Sea Grant Program, a local congressman, and several other distinguished individuals.
To find out more about KZO Sea Farms and its long-term potential to pioneer a sustainable new seasteading business model, visit the OASIS website and download the case study. We hope our interest in marine aquaculture will prove infectious once people learn, for example, that oysters can be cultivated without any outside feed or pesticides on simple longline cages, or that marine aquaculture is currently the fasting growing method of food production.
Be sure to stay tuned for future case studies and updates on Project OASIS, and alert us to any information on potential case study participants or relevant projects at firstname.lastname@example.org.