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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Nigeria

Pollution Reduction & the Circular Economy

Jephthah Adelowo

Ocean Plastic upcycling and conservation project

This project aims to educate youth in 5 schools in the Ibadan, Nigeria area about ocean plastic problems, and create an upcycling program and local upcycling competition to take place between December 2021 - February 2022. They will also organize a beach clean-up., Ocean Plastic Upcycling Project will create plastic upcycling programs in schools in local communities and will connect learners to recycling agencies for growth and impact.

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Microgrant

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Peru

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Javier Validivia De La Gala

Launch of SOA Hub Arequipa

SOA Arequipa aims to disseminate science and pollution reduction solutions through social networks, campaigns, and expositions for public and private centers to spread awareness of the regional impacts of marine pollution. They guided participants through experiential learning such as in-person documentation trips and the creation of public presentations on the matter.

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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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Startup

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United Kingdom

Blue Foods (Sustainable Protein, Fisheries & Aquaculture)

Daniel Watson, Nadia Laabs, &Aran Dasan

SafetyNet Technologies

SafetyNet Technologies is making the fishing industry smarter through the development of user-friendly technologies to enable Precision Fishing and make the industry more sustainable.

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Microgrant

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Japan

Pollution Reduction & the Circular Economy

Robin Takashi Lewis

Mymizu (2021)

mymizu is a water refill platform connecting people to locations across Japan where they can refill their water bottles for free, instead of buying bottled water. With this grant, mymizu built a stronger community of refill partners, enabling tens of thousands of community members to kick the plastic habit, further raise awareness of ocean plastics, and step up the fight against single-use plastics in Japan and beyond!

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Startup

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France

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Antoine Thebaud

Sea Proven

Sea Proven develops Autonomous Laboratory Vessels that will house various sensors onboard to collect different types of real-time ocean data simultaneously.

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Microgrant

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USA

Blue Foods (Sustainable Protein, Fisheries & Aquaculture)

Max Diamond

SoCal Purple Urchin Aquaculture

This project contributes to the conservation of kelp by removing invasive purple sea urchins. Divers are paid to harvest barren urchins, which are then ranched with feedstock created from restaurant waste. The goal is to increase the economic value of barren urchins while providing food to humans and removing an invasive species that will allow kelp to grow healthy.

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Microgrant

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Japan

Ecosystem Preservation & Restoration

Mitani Yuiko

Sea Forest Regeneration through Sea Urchin Removal

Mobile Sea Otters cooperates with local fishermen, volunteer divers, and dive shops to eliminate and thin out sea urchins with the goal of regenerating kelp forests. Participants install a rope and a sea urchin invasion prevention net and exterminate the sea urchins in the frame. They collect and share data on the resulting rates of kelp forest degradation.

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Microgrant

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Singapore

Blue Foods (Sustainable Protein, Fisheries & Aquaculture)

Inez Alsagoff

Recreational Fisheries in Singapore

This project is the development of a communications strategy to share fishery science with diverse audiences through locally-relevant channels. To increase ocean literacy in Singapore, leaders produced content to influence public opinion and inspire collaboration with local government on sustainable fisheries practices.

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