A promising project that aims to use seaweed to combat rising water temperatures in Tasmania has been successfully crowdfunded.
The Intrepid Foundation announced on Thursday, 4 September that it had already tipped over its initial fundraising goal of $350,000. The project, and its researchers, featured prominently in the documentary 2040.
The money raised will allow the Climate Foundation and the University of Tasmania to deploy Australia’s first marine permaculture test platform for restoration in and around degraded giant kelp forests in Storm Bay, TAS.
To ensure the success of the restoration efforts, test lines with the thermally tolerant giant kelp genotypes attached will be deployed in high-nutrient waters. By using thermally tolerant giant kelp genotypes the project team increase the chance of survival of Tasmania’s warming waters, both on the platform and the propagated kelp in surrounding local kelp forests.
The team will be planting the thermally tolerant giant kelps near salmon farms in Storm Bay, Tasmania. The kelp can absorb excess nutrients from the fish farms, while kelp spores regenerate neighbouring kelp ecosystems.
The Intrepid Foundation’s Leigh Barnes said that while response to the fundraising campaign, “Has been a brilliant surprise.”
“Seaweed is the climate change solution that nobody saw coming,” he said.
“Clearly, we can no longer rely on governments to take action. But the good news is that we’ve seen that there are a huge number of people who are willing to invest in solutions. It feels like the tide is turning and we’re thrilled to be part of the change.”
The promising project is a rare instance of good news regarding climate change and the ocean, in the same week that The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) announced that the Reef has been upgraded to being in “very poor” condition.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor