222
SOLUTIONS
TO HEAL, RESTORE, AND
SUSTAIN OUR OCEAN
SPECIAL REPORT

INTRODUCING SOA’S 222 SOLUTIONS TO HEAL, RESTORE, AND SUSTAIN OUR OCEAN

Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) activates young people, develops and implements innovative solutions, and mobilizes an ocean workforce to restore the health of the ocean in our lifetime.

Since founded by Daniela Fernandez in 2014, SOA has built the world’s largest network of young ocean leaders and supported innovative startups, nonprofits, and grassroots campaigns dedicated to solving the greatest threats facing our planet.

Two years ago at the World Economic Forum, we shared our vision with the world, and Salesforce Chair and Co-CEO Marc Benioff challenged us to accelerate 100 solutions by 2021.

Today, SOA is proud to announce that we have more than doubled our initial goal: we have accelerated 222 startups, nonprofits, and grassroots initiatives all over the world, each dedicated to restoring and sustaining the health of our ocean.

222 Solutions
SOA FACTS & FIGURES

OCEAN SOLUTIONS ACCELERATOR

The Ocean Solutions Accelerator helps entrepreneurs launch for-profit ocean solutions for a sustainable blue economy by providing funding, mentorship, and other critical resources to scale their ventures and amplify their impact.

OCEAN LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

The Ocean Leadership Program (OLP) holistically supports over 6,000 global participants with the resources and networks they need to build ocean-healing solutions and to reach their full potential as ocean leaders. The OLP awards Microgrants of up to $15,000 USD to outstanding youth leaders to execute and scale their projects, and provides 72 youth-led Hubs with leadership and programmatic support.

45

OCEAN COMPANIES

in 29 countries
$950K

SOA INVESTMENT

in SOA startups
$228M+

TOTAL INVESTMENT CAPITAL

raised by SOA startups
177

MICROGRANT PROJECTS

awarded to youth-led initiatives
$416K

DEPLOYED IN FUNDING

to support youth-led projects
596

BLUE JOBS CREATED

within SOA's solutions

FIVE AREAS OF OCEAN HEALTH IMPACT

Together, these 222 solutions for ocean restoration have touched tens of thousands of lives, restored critical marine ecosystems worldwide, invented sustainable alternatives to plastics, pioneered cutting-edge technology to illuminate the mysteries of our deepest seas and much, much more.

Each startup, nonprofit, and grassroots initiative has focused its efforts across five key areas of ocean health impact.

Learn more, and explore all 222 solutions below.

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Carbon (CO2) Reduction & Blue Carbon

15 SOLUTIONS

IMPACT:
15,540 metric tons of CO2 reduced, avoided, or sequestered

The fight to address climate change cannot be separated from the drive to support solutions that address carbon removal and blue carbon ecosystem development. In 2020, 31.5 gigatons of carbon (CO2) were emitted globally, with 83% of the carbon cycle circulating through the ocean. Certain marine and coastal ecosystems—like tidal marshes, mangroves, and seagrass meadows—play a critical role in this cycle by sequestering and storing what’s then known as “blue carbon.”

These ecosystems are critical to climate change mitigation. Mangroves and salt marshes, for example, remove carbon from the atmosphere at a rate 10 times greater and store five times more carbon per acre than tropical forests.

POLLUtion Reduction &
THE Circular economy

61 SOLUTIONS

IMPACT:
1,755 metric tons of solid waste removed, upcycled, or avoided

Each year, only 9% of plastic produced ends up recycled—which results in 10 million tons of plastic dumped into our oceans every year. That’s nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. These pollutants are responsible for choking marine life, destroying both marine and coastal ecosystems, and polluting our own food sources.

Today, the average person ingests over 70,000 microplastics each year (that’s 100 pieces over the course of a single meal). The solutions in this category work to reduce and eliminate items like single-use plastics. Their work in turn helps to build the circular economy, which promotes the extension of product lifecycles and aims to decrease solid waste and pollution.

Ecosystem Preservation & Restoration

34 SOLUTIONS

IMPACT:
89,128 square meters of blue carbon ecosystems protected or restored

In addition to sustaining marine life and the communities that depend on it, coastal ecosystems account for approximately half of the total carbon sequestered in ocean sediments. These may include coral reefs, mangrove forests, kelp forests, wetlands, and seagrass beds. Together, they serve as nurseries for marine organisms and as critical areas of blue carbon capture.

However, many marine ecosystems are experiencing degradation and destruction by human activities, which not only leads to species depletion, but also releases the critically stored carbon back into the atmosphere.

Ocean data, Literacy & Research

81 SOLUTIONS

Solutions in this category have monitored 150,000 kilometers of coastline for climate change adaptation planning, detected 67,000 whales to avoid marine collisions, produced 150+ ocean literacy reports and media projects, hosted 260 events with more than 30,000 youth participants, and much more.

More than 80% of our ocean is unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored. In the United States, only 35% of the ocean and coastal waters have been mapped with modern methods. In order to inform policy decisions that ensure marine and coastal ecosystem sustainability—and to empower humans worldwide to take local action to save the ocean—we need reliable data sources, mapping, and consistent analysis.

Some projects in the category of ocean literacy, data, and research focus on data collection and analysis, while other initiatives are dedicated to fostering knowledge-sharing and creating local opportunities for action. All play critical roles in leveraging knowledge and technical skills to catalyze lasting ocean impact.

SPOTLIGHT: Blue Foods
(Sustainable protein, fisheries and aquaculture)

31 SOLUTIONS

Every year, 30% of commercial fish stocks are overfished, while harmful fishing practices cause over 38 million tons of bycatch (the incidental capture of a non-target species). As a result, this institutionalized overfishing has contributed to a marked decrease in recorded marine species over the last 40 years.

Sustainable protein, fisheries, and aquaculture solutions address the challenge of sustainably feeding the world's growing human population without the continued exploitation of marine habitats and species. 

SOA’s solutions in this area are varied, with many developing new, innovative systems of impact tracking. One Microgrant project is developing a supply chain around selling “gourmet” sea urchins in order to quell California’s invasive purple sea urchin population explosion. Another is piloting a CSA-style delivery service in the Philippines to support seasonal, sustainably caught seafood. Our Accelerator alumni are hard at work in this area as well, developing plant-based alternatives to seafood (think kelp burgers, kelp jerky, and cell-cultured tuna), net sensors to reduce bycatch, deepwater solar irrigation for seaweed farming, and more.

OUR 222 SOLUTIONS

IMPACT CATEGORIES

TYPE

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Microgrant

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USA

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Alexandra Doudera

Deep Dive Workshop: Vulnerable Kelp Forests

Saltwater Classroom has conducted a workshop for 200+ 3rd to 5th grade students. This workshop focused on kelp forests, and was conducted in collaboration with Saltwater Classroom's non-profit partners. Through this project, Saltwater Classroom aimed to increase environmental literacy around blue carbon habitats like kelp forests for young students.

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Microgrant

/

Cook Islands

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Alanna Smith

Seabed Mining Panel Discussion

In order to enhance local Cook Islanders' understanding of seabed mining, Te Ipukarea Society hosted an interactive panel discussion event, 6 workshops for youth at schools, and produced a brief documentary on the threat Seabed Mining poses to the Cook Islands, which has over 5,000 views in less than one year.

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Startup

/

Canada

Ecosystem Preservation & Restoration

Emily Charry Tissier

Whale Seeker

Whale Seeker's proprietary technology uses AI to speed up the analysis of remotely sensed images to detect whales. Their data help strengthen environmental impact assessments, support industry in complying with marine regulations, improve companies’ bottom lines, and ultimately help protect whales.

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Microgrant

/

Portugal

Ecosystem Preservation & Restoration

Filipa Duarte

CONSERVAR e aMAR

Conservar e aMar aims to decrease sea turtle mortality and thus increase sea turtle conservation. Sea turtles are often bycatch when black scabbardfish fishermen utilize horizontal longline. The efficacy of a rescue rod versus a net will be tested and then implemented with approximately 20 fishermen in Funchal, Portugal.

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Microgrant

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Sarangani

Blue Foods (Sustainable Protein, Fisheries & Aquaculture)

Caroline Nacional

School of Fly Fish Fly for Fisherfolks

Fly Fish Fly is a social enterprise that partners with local artisan fishers and women fish entrepreneurs of Maitum, Sarangani to produce high-quality flying fish and other seafood products using sustainable and ethical business practices.

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Microgrant

/

Mexico

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Ibrahí Rodríguez Larreta

Rescate Oasis

This project led by SOA Mexico will select and train 6 - 7 local youth to take part in the monitoring process of the selected waterbody of Todos Santos in the Baja California Peninsula. Data will be collected in regards to the water's safety for human consumption.

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Microgrant

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Japan

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Yuka Kagao

Hub Launch: SOA Japan

The mission of SOA Hub Japan is to become the leading network for ocean youth leaders in Japan. This grant allowed them to build out their website, pitch materials, and increase their Hub Membership base. They brought on 10 members to fill leadership roles and hosted a series of webinars featuring Japanese ocean leaders. They used initial momentum to continue to grow their membership, and are now organizing a prototype of an ocean youth leadership summit & training program in Tokyo.

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Startup

/

USA

Blue Foods (Sustainable Protein, Fisheries & Aquaculture)

Jacob Isaac-Lowry & Sarah Alessi

FlyWire

FlyWire provides technology to track what happens on an individual fishing vessels to generate comprehensive reports about critical fisheries data at sea. Integrated hardware is installed on-vessel to monitor catch, handling, efficiency, and vessel performance using video, GPS, and other sensors throughout the fishing trip. Innovative software blends AI and human brainpower to build comprehensive catch reports based on data uploads, which helps meet certification and compliance standards twice as fast.

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Startup

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USA

Pollution Reduction & the Circular Economy

Peter Wang Hjemdahl, Aditya Siroya, & Svanika Balasubramanian

rePurpose Global Inc

rePurpose Global is the world's leading Plastic Action Platform dedicated to reducing waste, reviving lives, and restoring nature's balance. Through its pioneering ecosystem of solutions that span across advisory, action, and advocacy, the organization helps people and companies calculate, reduce, and offset their plastic footprint while empowering grassroots innovators on the cutting edge of solving for the planet's future.

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