What's happening to our kelp?
Millions of people and thousands of other species depend on healthy kelp forests. But these forests are disappearing at an alarming rate. Kelp forests not only support marine biodiversity, they protect coastlines from storm surges, counteract ocean acidification, absorb atmospheric carbon, and play a key role in economically and culturally significant fisheries and ocean resources.
Be a part of the solutions for rapid kelp restoration.
CRISIS & CONCERN
Worldwide, kelp forests are being decimated due to an unusual mix of environmental stressors. “Urchin barrens” are displacing kelp forests. In northern California alone, bull kelp forests have declined by more than 97%, and this is only one of several global “hot spots.” Without immediate intervention to reverse kelp losses, irreversible damage to ocean health and coastal-dependent communities is expected.
To-date successful restoration has relied on human divers to manually control purple urchins. We propose a more advanced solution of mechanized urchin control using state-of-the-art AI and ROV technology coupled with a strategy of intervention.
Currently developing a pilot project and three-part strategy for system change, Greenway is seeking partners and seed funding to build a coalition and launch the intervention.
What is the solution?
Restoring kelp at the scale needed requires a sophisticated suite of strategies to tackle technical hurdles and regulatory barriers that currently stand in the way.
As these barriers are being addressed, mechanized restoration solutions using AI and ROV technology must be validated through pilot field testing.
An Automated Monitoring Program using underwater AUVs will open the door to large-scale restoration by giving both public and private stakeholders the data they require about the effects of kelp restoration.
Private Investment Models, such as credits for carbon or biodiversity offsets, can fill the gap in public and philanthropic funding. Accounting methodologies need to be developed for kelp and related species.
Management Policy Supports will enable private stakeholders to play a more significant role in restoration and will facilitate government approvals for large-scale automated restoration programs.