May 2024 Edition

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

AltaSea Community Spotlight

AltaSea’s ocean research center will be celebrated this spring with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for part of a $30 million renovation of three historic waterfront warehouses. This section will be home to researchers from USC, UCLA and Caltech, as well as famed oceanographer and explorer Robert Ballard, credited with discovering the underwater wreckage of the Titanic.

Two bills currently being considered by the California Assembly received bipartisan support in two committees and now travel to the Appropriations Committee. The Committee on Natural Resources voted unanimously to refer AB 2572, which directs the Air Resources Board (ARB) to assess the environmental standards and promote the use of ocean carbon dioxide removal projects. Similarly, the Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife passed AB 3220, which directs the Department of Fish and Wildlife to investigate how to expedite permit processes with mariculture projects.


Santa Monica College, in partnership with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, AltaSea, and their partners, hosted the inaugural Blue Economy & Climate Action Pathways (BECAP) Kickoff and Conference on Friday, April 19. This visionary collaboration is the first of its kind between the consortia of 13 colleges for Blue Economy workforce development in Los Angeles.


Farm-to-table is a concept encouraging restaurants and individuals to purchase locally-grown ingredients. Across the world, delivery services have emerged that connect consumers and regional farmers. Just like visiting a farmers market, the benefits of farm-to-table are manifold—purchasing locally-grown foods is environmentally friendly, supports small businesses, and provides access to fresh, delicious food.


Recently, Eco Wave Power announced that it has conducted a comprehensive feasibility study, with the same major energy company, aimed at identifying the top locations for commercial onshore wave energy stations along the U.S. coastline and worldwide. The three-month, in-depth feasibility study which now has been completed, has shown favorable conditions for clean energy production in multiple locations in the U.S. and globally. In the study, Eco Wave Power has pointed out to at least 77 sites in the U.S. which may be compatible for the implementation of the Eco Wave Power technology.


The First Look SoCal Innovation Showcase is an annual celebration of the best early-stage teams commercializing deep tech and life science breakthroughs from the top research institutions in Southern California. This is the premiere gathering that celebrates research-based spinouts and connects them with top-tier investors and successful serial entrepreneurs with expertise to help them leap from the lab to market.


Join Algalita for an educational screening of The Story of Plastic, at The Long Beach Art Theater. This feature-length Emmy-winning documentary reveals the human side of the plastic problem. This film heroes front line communities around the world who are facing the impacts of plastic production and disposal. Get ready to dive into the world of plastic and discover its impact on our environment. This eye-opening film will take you on a journey through the life cycle of plastic, from production to disposal. Learn about the challenges it poses and the solutions we can implement to create a more sustainable future. Don’t miss this opportunity to become informed and inspired!

Special Announcement

Nearly 1,000 submissions total came into the Student Challenge this year and over 100 tabletop game submissions!

Two of the students at Da Vinci Science have been selected as finalists in the Hasbro 2024 Games for Change Waterwise competition for their tabletop game “Save the Sea”.


Alyssa Montenegro & Alyza Martinez Hurtado

AltaSea Events

May 15th | 2:00pm to 3:00pm


The goal of the project is to shine a spotlight on emerging aquaculture sector in our economy. Aquaculture and the supporting technologies bring together all the key ingredients – future growth opportunities that support our coastal ecosystems, the economy, jobs, and our communities. This webinar series reimagines partnerships between business, government, universities, and communities through regenerative ocean research, exploration, and equity-based economic development.

May 29th | 10:00am to 1:00pm

2451 Signal Street

San Pedro CA, 90731


AltaSea’s ocean research center will be celebrated this spring with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for part of a $30 million renovation of three historic waterfront warehouses. This section will be home to researchers from USC, UCLA and Caltech, as well as famed oceanographer and explorer Robert Ballard, credited with discovering the underwater wreckage of the Titanic.

Volunteer Opportunities: If you would like to volunteer for this event, please email our Community Partnerships Manager Dorothy Cardenas at: with the subject: Volunteer.

Friday, May 31st | 11:30am (PT)


Today, there exists a global consensus among scientists, policymakers, and environmentalists that carbon dioxide removal is indispensable in combating climate change. The oceans are the largest pool of mobile carbon dioxide on the planet and represent an enormous opportunity to mitigate the effects of humans on the climate.  Multiple forms of marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR) methods are under exploration and/or development currently, each with different mechanisms, opportunities, impacts and risks.

Join us for a timely conversation on Friday, May 31st, between researchers, practitioners and experts in the mCDR space and ocean carbon management space, where we will discuss the extraordinary potential of, and near-term roadmap for, ocean carbon management in California.

Terry Tamminen, CEO of AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles


  1. Sophie Chu, Principal Oceanographer & Director of MRV – Captura
  2. Alicia Karspeck, Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer – [C]Worthy
  3. Brad Ack, Chief Executive Officer – Ocean Visions
  4. Maddelyn Harden, Researcher, USC Sergey Nuzhdin Lab 

Marine Science

ATHENS — From April 15-17, state delegates, organization representatives, academics and philanthropists met at the 9th Our Ocean Conference (OOC) in Athens to discuss the protection of the world’s oceans and pledge actions to safeguard their future.

As the OOC took place, news broke about the world’s coral reefs undergoing a mass bleaching event, which lent a sense of urgency to the conference. Experts say this global bleaching event is a result of the current El Niño climate pattern as well as the ongoing rise in global ocean temperatures due to human-induced climate change.


April 15 (Reuters) – Along coastlines from Australia to Kenya to Mexico, many of the world’s colorful coral reefs have turned a ghostly white in what scientists said on Monday amounted to the fourth global bleaching event in the last three decades.


At least 54 countries and territories have experienced mass bleaching among their reefs since February 2023 as climate change warms the ocean’s surface waters, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Watch, the world’s top coral reef monitoring body.


Antarctica’s largest ice shelf, buttressing a dozen major glaciers and slowing their flow into the ocean, may be surprisingly sensitive to warming.

Several thousand years ago, the Ross Ice Shelf and the glaciers feeding it thinned dramatically, causing sea level to rise. A new study, published April 23 in Nature Communications, suggests this was triggered by a rearrangement of ocean currents set off by a minor amount of ocean warming — just half a degree Celsius


Aquaculture production operations that help feed the world’s growing population also generate polluted wastewater that harms the environment, causing oxygen depletion and harmful algae blooms when discharged into the aquatic environment. However, scientists have published four studies proving that new methods can effectively clean aquaculture wastewater.


“Those wastewaters are not good for the environment because they discharge a large amount of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus,” said Jen-Yi Huang, associate professor of food science at Purdue University. “The result of this paper provides the proof of concept on an experimental scale.”


Sustainable and Innovative Business

The Biden administration will release four pollution rules Thursday that could largely remove coal from the U.S. power grid by the early 2030s.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan said the coordinated release of standards for carbon dioxide, mercury, wastewater and legacy pollution would give utilities and regulators clarity about the pollution controls power plants will need in the long run.


More than 430 million tons of plastic are produced each year, two-thirds of which is cast aside as waste after just one use. If trends continue, plastic waste will triple by 2060, with dire consequences for both ecosystems and human health.

Eleven million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean alone each year, in addition to the estimated 200 million metric tons that already flow through our marine environments, per data from the Ocean Conservatory.


At the current rate of production, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by mid-century, according to Nikola Simpson, Head of the United Nations Development Programme’s Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Blue Economy Accelerator Lab.


Carbon Brief analysis of figures in the IEA’s Renewables 2023 report show that the world is now on track to build enough solar, wind and other renewables over the next five years to power the equivalent of the US and Canada.

Rapid growth has also pushed the IEA to once again significantly upgrade its renewables forecast, adding an extra 728 gigawatts (GW) of capacity to a five-year estimate it made just a year ago. This is more than the electricity capacity of Germany and India combined.


The summit was organised by the Mexican Council for the Promotion of Wild and Aquaculture Seafood (COMEPESCA) and #PescaConFuturo, an initiative that links producers, traders, restaurants and consumers to adopt a collective commitment to sustainability.


In Latin America, aquaculture – mainly in ponds and intertidal zones – has an important role to the livelihoods of coastal communities (FAO, 2022). The challenges for small-scale farmers have a lot to do with regulations as it is hard to talk about best practices if the issue is staying afloat.




Chemists invented PFAS in the 1930s to make life easier: Nonstick pans, waterproof clothing, grease-resistant food packaging and stain-resistant carpet were all made possible by PFAS. But in recent years, the growing number of health risks found to be connected to these chemicals has become increasingly alarming.

PFAS – perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances – are now either suspected or known to contribute to thyroid disease, elevated cholesterol, liver damage and cancer, among other health issues.


Most Americans believe K-12 STEM education in the United States is either average or below average compared with other wealthy nations, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Recent global standardized test scores show that students in the U.S. are, in fact, lagging behind their peers in other wealthy nations when it comes to math. But America’s students are doing better than average in science compared with pupils in these other countries.


A new report from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) identifies impactful opportunities to close the wind energy workforce gap, although there will likely be a significant shortage of wind energy workers in the coming decades.

The National Wind Workforce Assessment: Challenges, Opportunities, and Future Needs report builds on past reports looking at the wind energy workforce gap, which found that wind energy employers had difficulty hiring both entry- and non-entry-level employees, and entry- and non-entry-level job seekers had difficulty landing jobs in wind energy-related careers.


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