222
SOLUTIONS
TO HEAL, RESTORE, AND
SUSTAIN OUR OCEAN
SPECIAL REPORT 2021

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 2021, 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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Indonesia

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Faqih Akbar Alghozali

Indonesian Elasmobranch Citizen Science Network

The Elasmobranch Citizen Science Network aims to create an Indonesia-wide Citizen Science Network to support elasmobranch conservation through a mobile-reporting database. Elasmobranch Project Indonesia will work with other government and non-profit organizations in the region to coordinate the project and combine data across organizations, while also training youth to identify and report shark sightings and landings.

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Microgrant

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Argentina

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Giuliana Fiore

Time to Sea

This project generates ocean awareness in Argentina, where only a small portion of the population lives near the coast. They developed two series of podcasts focused on Argentinian coastal wetland ecosystems as well as sharks, rays, and chimera species found in the Argentinian Sea. They also partnered with Proyecto Sub and Proyecto Arrecife to create a photographic record of cartilaginous fish species and marine coastal wetlands in the region.

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Microgrant

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USA

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Stephanie Fine Sasse

Inspiring the Rising Generation of Ocean Advocates

Led by founder Steph Fine Sasse (33), The Plenary inspires students to become scientists through their “I am a Scientist” program, which highlights the life of an ocean-focused scientist by developing curricula and classroom materials that are disseminated within their network of 250 educators and 25,000 middle and high school students.

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Microgrant

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Brazil

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Heitor Sabino

"The Engagement We Need for the Ocean We Want"

Brazil has one of the longest coastlines, and more than 80% of the population lives in the coastal zone, but little is discussed about the Ocean in schools, universities and communities. This project sought to fill this gap and produced a series of 12 webinars targeting young citizens (13-25yrs), all openly available on Youtube, in order to increase ocean awareness and communication, and call to action.

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Microgrant

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Peru

Ecosystem Preservation & Restoration

Daniel Caceres

SOA Peru Projects

SOA Peru implemented a number of projects related to supporting fisherfolk in coastal communities: assisting fishermen in achieving sustainability certifications and recording and sharing their stories. Another project will investigate the relationship between copper extraction off the coast of Chile and Peru and the high mortality and disappearance of mollusks.

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Microgrant

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Indonesia

Pollution Reduction & the Circular Economy

Nadhira Afina Wardhani

Refill Store Cura for Trash-free Islands

Refill Store is a well-known zero-waste shop with the goal of providing an alternative shopping experience as a solution to reduce the use of single-use plastics which make up the majority of marine debris. Funding for this project supported marketing, educational programs, and reusable kit give-away at the local elementary school in Kepulauan Seribu.

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Microgrant

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Spain

Pollution Reduction & the Circular Economy

Martí Morató

Go Zero Waste

Go Zero Waste is an App (iOS and Android) that shows plastic-free alternatives for everyday items and then shows where to buy it in your area. The app challenges users to start a zero-waste lifestyle with new sustainable habits and rewarding them with a gamification feature.

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Microgrant

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Haiti

Ecosystem Preservation & Restoration

Katie O'Hara

Youth Saving Haiti's Sea Turtles

Loggerhead Marinelife Center and the Haiti Ocean Project provided Haitian youth with the resources and knowledge to develop Haiti's first children's book on the importance of protecting sea turtles. This book was written and illustrated by Haitian students and distributed throughout Haiti’s fishing communities to educate and empower youth as future leaders in ocean conservation.

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Microgrant

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Tanzania

Carbon (CO2) Reduction & Blue Carbon

Ailars David

Seagrass Monitoring in Tanzania

SOA Tanzania highlights the importance of seagrass beds and the challenges that they face by training members to conduct seagrass monitoring, raising awareness through ocean literacy initiatives, and utilizing the collected data for the publication of an article. They also plan to remove 2.5 tonnes of waste from the Msimbazi river.

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