222
SOLUTIONS
TO HEAL, RESTORE, AND
SUSTAIN OUR OCEAN
SPECIAL REPORT 2022

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 as of May 2022, 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.

DONATE TO SOA

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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Portugal

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Eugénia Barroca

Ocean Hub Portugal: Podcasting and Gaming for the Deep Sea

Ocean Hub Portugal organized and hosted a series of webinars and podcasts with experts on different aspects of Deep Seabed Mining. They raised awareness about the issue in Portugal and throughout Portuguese-Speaking countries. In addition, the project created a board game—both physical and virtual—to make learning about deep seabed mining policies fun.

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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

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Peru

Pollution Reduction & the Circular Economy

Marysol Gomez Naveda

HAZla por tu Playa

HAZla por tu Playa is a global campaign to keep our ocean, seas, lakes and rivers free from pollution. This movement started in Peru (reaching 22 regions) and has now extended to 11 countries, continuing to grow with each edition. Over the 8 editions of HAZla we have cleaned over 1000 beaches, rivers, wetlands & lakes with around 200 tons of debris collected and the success of knowing that our efforts not only cleaned but prevented more plastic from reaching the sea. Our strong network of around 900 regional leaders mobilize thousands of volunteers to collect data every year.

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Microgrant

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Colombia

Carbon (CO2) Reduction & Blue Carbon

Hector Jesús Contreras Marimón

Mangrove Nursery (Casa Mangle Foundation)

The Casa Mangle Foundation in Cartagena, Colombia conducted a mangrove restoration project that involved the local community. Twenty local leaders were selected and trained in mangrove restoration and seed germination. A wooden structure for the mangrove nursery will also be constructed.

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Microgrant

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Papua New Guinea

Ecosystem Preservation & Restoration

Hercules Jim

Rebuilding Reefs in Papua New Guinea

This project teaches local youth in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea to be guardians of their ecosystem. In July 2020, with the help of 25 youth volunteers, they deployed 21 artificial reef units off the coast of Fisherman Island, Port Moresby. These volunteers will continue to monitor the growth, species abundance, diversity, and overall biomass on each reef. All survey methods will involve the collection of both still photos and video for post-field analysis and use for informational, outreach, and promotional materials.

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Startup

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USA

Blue Foods (Sustainable Protein, Fisheries & Aquaculture)

Brian von Herzen

SeaForestation Co

SeaForestation Co provides deepwater solar irrigation services and equipment for replete seaweed cultivation across the oceans to meet food security needs, ecosystem life support and carbon export applications. Restoring natural upwelling with deepwater irrigation of seaweed platforms restores production rates lost due to climate disruption, while staving off the Permian Mass Extinction one kelp forest at a time. SeaForestation Co addresses billion-dollar markets in food, feed and agricultural amendments while regenerating critical marine ecosystems and measuring carbon export to the deep ocean.

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Microgrant

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United States of America

Pollution Reduction & the Circular Economy

Megan Hansen

Leading Direct Action for Ocean Habitat Protection

The University of Southern Mississippi Hub will conduct monthly cleanups during the academic year at polluted locations at or near bodies of water in the Hattiesburg and Mississippi Gulf Coast areas. The focus is on areas that drain into major rivers in the area. Collected waste will be tracked and reported to local interest groups.

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Microgrant

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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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Startup

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USA

Blue Foods (Sustainable Protein, Fisheries & Aquaculture)

Kortney Opshaug

Blue Ocean Gear

Blue Ocean Gear is changing the commercial fishing industry with intelligent, connected Smart Buoys to provide real-time gear tracking for commercial fishing fleets out on the ocean. Without this technology, over 600,000 metric tons of fishing gear is lost to the oceans every year, consuming up to 30% of the world's fishery stocks while causing fleets to lose billions of dollars in revenue and gear replacement costs. Blue Ocean Gear's Smart Buoys are designed with a range of sensors that allow fishers to monitor the status of their gear whether onshore or on the water, receiving alerts of anomalous conditions so they can respond immediately and operate more efficiently. The buoys are also a valuable source of data on ocean conditions, providing insights that benefit ocean industry operations.

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