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SeaForester Jan Verbeek Ines Gill Louro
Revive Our
2022 Finalist


Area of Impact:
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.

Their impact so far

Since becoming an Earthshot Prize Finalist in 2022, SeaForester’s ingenious solution continues to restore coastal kelp forests.

Connections Made

Herbert Smith Freehills has provided the SeaForester team with crucial pro bono legal support to help it enter into contracts with corporate sponsors looking to support and develop SeaForester’s work.

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The Earthshot Prize