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SeaForester Jan Verbeek Ines Gill Louro
2022 Finalist
Revive Our


Nominated by:

Human activities and the climate crisis are decimating underwater seaweed forests. Pål Bakken and the SeaForester team are on a mission to restore them.

Their Story

Seaweed is a powerful tool for capturing carbon, absorbing more CO2 than trees. At the same time they create more fish in the sea, making our waters healthier. However, rising sea temperatures, pollution, coastal developments and other factors are decimating these underwater carbon sinks.

In the past 50 years, half of the earth’s kelp forests have disappeared from our coastlines. These once vast underwater jungles have been reduced to expanses of bare rock. Not only are they unable to store carbon, but the loss of seaweed has destroyed marine ecosystems and wiped out local fishing industries.

Luckily, this process is reversible. The team at SeaForester utilize an ingenious solution: “green gravel”. Unlike trees, seaweed needs no soil or fertiliser. Seaweed spores are seeded onto small stones and scattered into the ocean. The stones latch on to the underlying reef, the seaweed grows and multiplies, spreading across the ocean floor. The seaweed forest returns.

Once planted, the underwater forests reverse acidification, build up depleted fish stocks, boost marine biodiversity, improve water quality and – crucially – capture carbon. Unlike past efforts to restore marine habitats, green gravel is cost-effective and easy to replicate at scale. So far, SeaForester has tested the technique in Portugal and other countries. SeaForester’s goal is to begin reforesting much larger areas, with an aim to plant thousands of tonnes of seaweed by 2026.

For rapid expansion and global reach, SeaForester offer mobile seaweed nurseries to coastal communities worldwide. These coastal regions will soon be able to take care of their underwater forests in their “blue front yard” in the same way they care for their trees on land.

Learn About the Earthshots

and Restore

By 2030, we choose to ensure that, for the first time in human history, the natural world is growing – not shrinking – on our planet. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Protecting areas of high biodiversity such as forests, wetland, peatlands and wildlife corridors
  2. Restoring damaged ecosystems
  3. Feeding people while protecting nature
Learn more about this Earthshot

Clean Our

By 2030 we choose to ensure that everyone in the world breathes clean, healthy air – at World Health Organization standard or better. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Engaging citizens in data collection and clean air policies
  2. Preventing the burning of fields, forests and waste
  3. Transitioning to clean transportation for all
Learn more about this Earthshot

Revive Our

By 2030, we choose to repair and preserve our oceans for future generations. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Protecting and restoring coastal ecosystems
  2. Replenishing fish populations
  3. Reducing demand for fishmeal
Learn more about this Earthshot

Build a

By 2030, we choose to build a world where nothing goes to waste, where the leftovers of one process become the raw materials of the next – just like they do in nature. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Reducing food loss from farm to fork
  2. Phasing out single-use and non-recycled plastics
  3. High-value circularity in fashion and electronics
Learn more about this Earthshot

Fix Our

We choose to fix the world’s climate by cutting out carbon: building a carbon neutral economy that lets every culture, community and country thrive. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Creating an equitable clean energy future
  2. Addressing non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions
  3. Decarbonising hard to abate sectors
Learn more about this Earthshot
The Earthshot Prize