I am in the process of enjoying the Climate Issue. A quick check finds no mention of biophysicist Brian von Herzen ’80 and his Climate Foundation, of which the main project is marine permaculture. His innovations will help seaweed farmers in the tropics most impacted by climate chaos, use seaweed to provide food, fuel, and fertilizer, and to sequester carbon when unharvested portions of the plants sink into the deep ocean where their carbon will remain for centuries. By growing on platforms further out to sea than seaweed usually grows, this will increase all these benefits. The seaweed also is at the base of a rich biodiverse ecosystem with all the benefits that provides. His upwelling of cold water using solar, wind, and tidal energy powered pumps will solve a modern problem of loss of natural upwelling which feeds the kelp ecosystem. In some cases it is advantageous to lower and raise the platforms of seaweed, which was used during a hurricane and saved enough of the seaweed to supply local seaweed farmers devastated by that storm, with nursery stock to replant their farms.
A visit to climatefoundation.org will get anyone interested started. The project needs support to scale up and make a significant contribution and has already obtained numerous grants. My wife and I interviewed Brian on our “A Farm and Garden Show” in February 2023 which can be heard here.
Please consider his great work for a future article.