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

Pollution Reduction & the Circular Economy

Savira Aristi

Uada

Uada aims to replace plastic packaging in the supply chain by making alternative containers using natural materials. The project also aims to educate end-users about the plastic waste and how to create more environmentally conscious consumption habits. Uada targets food containers at events (such as festivals) and food delivery packaging, and incentivizes and facilitates the switch in packaging materials - for which they will instead use deciduous dried leaf material to replace disposable plastic, which will biodegrade in 30 days.

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Microgrant

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Indonesia

Ecosystem Preservation & Restoration

Dennis Kurniawan

(KORALIT) Kiabu Coral Restoration Project

The Bawah Anambas Foundation actively restores the damaged coral reefs in Kiabu, Anambas. In 2020, they installed 40 coral spiders and planted 700 coral fragments with SOA funding. Most recently, they have increased the percentage of coral cover via transplantation, re-established fish habitat using coral spiders, and created six coral table nurseries.

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Microgrant

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Romania

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Marian Paiu

Researching Cetacean and Marine Litter Interaction in Romania

SOA Romania and NGO Mare Nostrum will use a sailing yacht to collect data regarding cetaceans (a bioindicator) and marine debris/litter (a pressure indicator) in Romanian coastal waters. They plan to share their results at local and national levels in order to inform national authorities and civil initiatives working towards coastal management, conservation, and more.

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Microgrant

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Cameroon

Carbon (CO2) Reduction & Blue Carbon

Anthony Duxell Malle

Cameroonian Mangrove Restoration

In Cameroon, coastal community members depend on mangroves for fish-drying, which has greatly degraded the mangrove forests. This program provided training for the vulnerable coastal population to restore mangrove ecosystems and protect the shoreline, and organized workshops to teach modern skills such as how to make mangrove nurseries and protect the shoreline.

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Microgrant

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Portugal

Pollution Reduction & the Circular Economy

Annalisa Sambolino

No More Disposable Plastic Cups

This project works to eliminate disposable plastic in local bars by offering a reusable container solution. Here we noticed that almost no reusable cups are proposed and the main bars have a lot of customers with a tremendous amount of plastic cups distributed and then discarded, especially on the weekend. We have designed reusable cups that art students will personalize with drawings of sea animals. Our Microgrant will help us provide the first cups to local bars, and fund an art show and public exhibition.

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Microgrant

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Indonesia

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Firli Rahman Hakim Fauzi

Analysis and bioprospecting of sea cucumbers at Seribu Archipelago

This research project focuses on a natural self-defense chemical used by the sea cucumber species, Synaptula reticulata. The researchers hope to synthesize this natural repellent in the lab in order to use it as a natural pesticide for aqualculturists, which in turn can lead to faster growth rates and lower mortality of aquaculture-grown fish.

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Microgrant

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Portugal

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Ana Matias

Oceano Livre: Civic Movement Against Seabed Mining

Sciaena aims to promote a moratorium on Deep Seabed Mining in Portugal. They will do this through Coordination with Oceano Livre to increase membership, organize joint actions with anti land-mining moviments in the country, organize a public event, organize meetings with the Minister and the National Director for maritime policy, and update Oceano Livre's internal documents, websites and campaign materials.

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Microgrant

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Egypt

Pollution Reduction & the Circular Economy

Manar Ramadan

Banning Single Use Plastic

To form new youth initiatives in coastal cities, this project spreads awareness on plastic pollution and marine litter by offering capacity building workshops for budding environmentalists and youth organizations in Egypt. Their main objective is to ban single use plastic in those cities, with a special focus on banning plastic use at the beaches.

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Microgrant

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Japan

Pollution Reduction & the Circular Economy

Robin Takashi Lewis

Mymizu (2020)

Mymizu (“mizu” is water in Japanese) provides a free water refill platform that connects people to 200,000+ locations globally where they can refill their water bottle, instead of buying bottled water. This project supported the development of educational materials for Mymizu volunteers and community members to carry out their own workshops across Japan.

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