AltaSea: Trending Newsletter

July 14, 2021 Edition

A monthly round-up of news and trends important to the AltaSea community.

ALTASEA NEWS

As we reopen, let’s also reskill the workforce (Community College Daily)

Read this great article co-written by AltaSea CEO Tim McOsker!

The country is inching closer to the long-awaited reopening of our economy. As businesses begin to go back to normal operations, we should set our sights on making Los Angeles a leader in the future of employment: sustainable, clean, well-paying careers in the blue economy.

The blue, or ocean, economy is described as the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth. This can include everything from cultivating kelp as a healthy source of protein to harvesting seaweed as replacement for petroleum plastics.

Land-based food production is increasingly stressed by climate change, and farmers will have to look to our oceans for sustainable food supplies. Aquatic farming, or aquaculture, is a growing economic sector poised to generate a significant amount of revenue and provide well-paying jobs for the economic recovery. But in order to make this a reality, we need to develop and train the workforce to be able to meet the demands of an emerging aquaculture industry. Luckily, they would not require doctorates and master’s degrees to be successful in this field. We believe it’s much simpler than that.

World’s First Energy-Autonomous Electric Catamaran—Energy Observer—Docks At AltaSea (VERDEXCHANGE)

On April 28th, following a 27-day nonstop journey from the Galapagos to the Port of Los Angeles, the world’s first energy-autonomous electric catamaran docked at AltaSea. Creating and storing its own hydrogen, solar, wind, and hydro power onboard, the Energy Observer advocates for the future of renewable energy and serves as a floating laboratory for the ecological transition needed to restructure humanity’s relationship with the planet. VX News here excerpts Fmr. California EPA Secretary Terry Tamminen, AltaSea’s Tim McOsker, and Energy Independence Now’s Brian Goldstein; each highlighted the technology’s potential for combatting climate change, ocean acidification and accelerating innovation of the blue economy.

HERE’S THE BLUE DEAL

Investing in the Oceans – Accelerating the Blue Economy Through Market-Based Solutions (AltaSea)

Economic prosperity and environmental conservation, while often framed as disparate goals, are better viewed as interdependent components of creating a livable future for humanity. Ocean-based industries constitute 3.5% of global GDP and are projected to double in value by 2030. Harnessing ocean solutions to environmental challenges can simultaneously protect the oceans, address climate change, and provide economic benefits to millions of people.

Seatrec Generates Renewable Energy Under the Surface of the Ocean (AltaSea)

While there is an abundance of renewable energy sources on the surface of the ocean, including solar, wave, and wind power, methods for generating electricity within the ocean’s depths are less developed. A company called Seatrec is unlocking underwater energy production by designing and manufacturing technology that creates renewable energy from the naturally occurring temperature differences in ocean water.

MARINE SCIENCE

The scientists fighting to save the ocean’s most important carbon capture system (The Washington Post)

Frank Hurd gently parted the curtains of giant kelp that reached upward through the cold waters of the North Pacific, looking for signs of life.

Kelp forests cover a quarter of the world’s coastlines, stretching from Antarctica to Australia, Mexico to Alaska, providing food and shelter for thousands of species, while sucking carbon from the atmosphere. But over the past decade, thanks to warming waters and overfishing, they’re disappearing.

NASA sends squid from Hawaii into space for research (The Associated Press)

Dozens of baby squid from Hawaii are in space for study.

The baby Hawaiian bobtail squid were raised at the University of Hawaii’s Kewalo Marine Laboratory and were blasted into space earlier this month on a SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station.

Researcher Jamie Foster, who completed her doctorate at the University of Hawaii, is studying how spaceflight affects the squid in hopes of bolstering human health during long space missions.

Did a Cuttlefish Write This? (The New York Times)

Captive cuttlefish require entertainment when they eat. Dinner and a show – if they can’t get live prey, then they need some dancing from a dead shrimp on a stick in their tank.

When the food looks alive, the little cephalopods, which look like iridescent footballs with eight short arms and two tentacles, are more likely to eat it. Because a person standing before them has to jiggle it, the animals start to recognize that mealtime and a looming human-shaped outline go together.

SUSTAINABLE AND INNOVATIVE BUSINESS

A ‘Bubble Barrier’ is trapping plastic waste before it can get into the sea (CNN.COM)

What do old televisions, street signs, motorbike helmets, windsurf boards, and Christmas trees have in common? They were all caught floating down Amsterdam’s Westerdok canal — by a curtain of bubbles.

“The Bubble Barrier” was developed as a simple way to stop plastic pollution flowing from waterways into the ocean. An air compressor sends air through a perforated tube running diagonally across the bottom of the canal, creating a stream of bubbles that traps waste and guides it to a catchment system.

Remote-Controlled Ocean Drones Observe Atmospheric Cold Pools (eos.org)

Atmospheric cold pools are pockets of air cooler than their surrounding environment that form when rain evaporates underneath thunderstorms. These relatively dense air masses, ranging between 10 and 200 kilometers in diameter, lead to downdrafts that upon hitting the ocean surface, produce temperature fronts and strong winds that affect the surrounding environment. Cold pools over the tropical oceans produce large changes in air temperature and wind speed in the planetary boundary layer. But how they affect the larger atmospheric circulation is not clear. To understand the role of cold pools in tropical convection, scientists need detailed measurements of these events; however, observations in hard-to-reach ocean locations have been lacking.

EDUCATION

UCSD climate scientist Ramanathan to receive prestigious Blue Planet Prize (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Renowned San Diego-based climate scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan has been selected to receive the 2021 Blue Planet Prize.

The international award is given out annually by Japan’s Asahi Glass Foundation to honor those whose accomplishments have contributed to the “improvement of the global environment.”

Ramanathan, 76, a researcher and professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, pioneered work on the first climate “super pollutants,” which play an outsized role in warming the planet.

OceanX Launches Young Explorers Program to Inspire Next Generation of Ocean Explorers (CISION PRWeb)

Nonprofit ocean exploration organization OceanX today announced the launch of the Young Explorers Program (YEP), offering college students from across the nation the opportunity to learn about and explore the ocean aboard OceanX’s marine research and media vessel OceanXplorer. Launching this summer, the program, coordinated by OceanX with partners from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute (GMGI) and Coral Vita, will host 10 participants as they chart largely unexplored areas on the ship’s 12-day voyage from the Azores to Svalbard, Norway.

“At OceanX, we are on a mission to explore the ocean and bring it back to the world, and we believe this must include nurturing and educating the next generation of scientists,” said Mark Dalio, Founder and Creative Director of OceanX.

COMMUNITY

Bjarke Ingels is now designing underwater robots (Fast Company)

An interesting article about AltaSea partner, The Metals Company!

Deep at the bottom of the ocean, there are vast fields of metal that could be critical for the future of renewable energy. The polymetallic nodules, which resemble potato-like clumps, are rich in nickel, cobalt, copper, and manganese—several of the key ingredients in lithium ion batteries, which are used in electric vehicles and solar energy storage systems. They’ve been known since the 1970s to exist in some of the darkest depths of the ocean. A new venture is hoping to bring them to the surface.

The Metals Company, a Vancouver-based metals and deep-sea mining company, is working on a project that will collect these nodules from a location 2.5 miles deep in a part of the Pacific Ocean known as the Clarion Clipperton Zone.

Shark expert discusses how to co-exist with growing number of great whites along the California coast (East Bay Times)

Shark researchers are learning more about the habits and habitats of great white sharks — how they behave around and interact with ocean-users along the Southern California coast.

Chris Lowe, director of Cal State Long Beach’s Shark Lab, led a virtual town hall this week talk about the increased shark activity off the Southern California coastline, teaming with Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, and Long Beach lifeguards to educate the public on shark behavior.

Seal Day (Marine Mammal Care Center)

Saturday, July 31st from 10AM – 4PM.

Seal Day is a celebration for the community and a fundraiser to support the critical work the Marine Mammal Care Center does for ocean conservation and to save seals and sea lions. Activities include an auction, food trucks, and vendor and non-profit booths. For more information and to reserve your spot, click here!

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