We recently wrote a story about how kelp forests can protect our coastlines from the pressures of a changing climate. An aquaculture startup, Running Tide, is using those carbon-sucking seaweed powers to sequester carbon off the coast of Maine while raising sustainable shellfish.
Planting on the seafloor offers even more carbon sequestering capabilities than planting trees on land because kelp that sinks to the seafloor can hold carbon there for centuries. One study found that growing and sinking microalgae in a small proportion of federal waters off California’s coast could completely offset emissions from the state’s entire agriculture industry.
Founder Marty Odlin comes from a long line of east coast fishermen and has seen how climate change is impacting our seas first-hand. The company operates by sending out microfarms into open ocean currents. The currents carry the kelp to optimal locations in terms of salinity, temperature, and nutrient levels before the company sinks the plants to the seafloor. The process uses biodegradable buoys to transport the kelp offshore.
Running Tide was recently one of 11 winners selected by tech company Shopify to receive a portion of their $5 million (plus) Sustainability Fund, given each year in support of promising, impactful technologies that seek to address the climate emergency. Running Tide plans to use the funding to expand its deep-sea planting further offshore.