Who Inspired You in 2023?

Although the daily headlines from near and far can seem perpetually pessimistic, this past year has been one of progress and inspiration at AltaSea that inspires us to believe our future is bright (and blue!). So when a reporter asked me “who inspired you in 2023?” I was able to offer several great examples, all based right here at AltaSea. 

Ian Jacobson, at Holdfast, hatched 500 million baby mussels, clams and oysters this year to supply aquafarmers along our Pacific west coast, who will grow tons of sustainable and healthy protein, while sequestering more tons of carbon. His infectious enthusiasm explaining the biology to our school field trips inspires me every time I see him in action. 

Inna Braverman of EcoWave, who helped us pass California Senate bill 605 with unanimous bi-partisan support (a rarity these days!), which will incentivize the technologies and companies harnessing the vast energy of waves and tides to add to the state’s clean, renewable energy supply. Her story of growing up near the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and using that lesson to start her own wave energy company is a journey that gives hope to everyone she meets. 

Michael Marty-Rivera of the AltaSeads Conservancy is literally saving the California kelp forest, by identifying (and “seed banking”) strains of kelp and other algae that will withstand a changing climate and that can feed and fuel our future sustainably. Most times when I see Michael, he’s hunched over a microscope in the lab, but always emerges to engage students, policymakers, or researchers with explanations of this work that even a science dunce like me can understand! 

And while it’s impossible to single out any one member of our amazing, fast-growing AltaSea team, at least one of them brings a smile to my heart and a positive attitude to every task, always showing others that there are many ways to serve the cause and our community.  

You might ask, “why is AltaSea growing so fast?” We’re in the middle of renovating 180,000 square feet of 110 year-old warehouses (look for grand opening announcements early in 2024) and the demand for blue education, workforce training, and business development has never been greater, or more urgently needed to address our equally fast-growing list of sustainability challenges. 

Come see the exciting progress and meet these creative, innovative, hard-working people at our next Open House on February 24th and be inspired, just as I am every day. And when the latest news of climate disasters or world events seem overwhelming, ask yourself “who inspired me in 2023?” and share that with others to keep us all hopeful, helpful, and making the world a better place in 2024. 

Terry Tamminen

President & CEO