Part 1 of the young entrepreneurs’ docuseries with Hyundai and Buzzfeed presents “Growing New Life From Artificial Reefs”. Co-founders of Blue Latitude, and best friends, Amber Jackson and Emily Callahan are responsible for this inspiring movement. Their mission is to find areas of the world’s oceans that deserve to be protected but don’t always get the recognition that coral reefs do.
Did you know that humans are responsible for threatening 60 percent of the world’s coral? Once the reefs go, so will the associated marine life. With such alarming stats, it’s time to get creative. Blue Latitude is repurposing oil and gas platforms as artificial coral reefs with much success. The idea is to not completely remove the oil rig jacket but instead, leaving it in place to serve as an artificial marine ecosystem.
There are many oil and gas rigs worldwide, most of which are in deep, turbulent waters teeming with marine life. Unbeknown to many, the oil rig below the surface is home to schools of fish, scallops, mussels and even sea lions. When these mammoth structures are dismantled, it affects more than one might think. Blue Latitudes is changing the way governments make decisions about how to remove complete, partial or in-situ offshore platforms. Take a look:
They’ve conducted various projects across the globe from the Gulf of Mexico, California, Thailand to Palau, Malaysia and the North Sea. These are incredibly important for ocean conservation and continue to impress. Continuous research into the productivity of these artificial reefs is helping people understand how important they are to the entire ecosystem.
Some of the projects already in place and making a difference include the following:
- ROV Marine Life Survey Of Deep Sea Pipeline And Associated Subsea Hardware
- Assessment of in-situ deep-sea hardware, joint industry project
- Thailand Marine Feasibility Study
- North Sea Decommissioning Regulatory Compliance
- Technical Assistance For Offshore Oil Field Infrastructure Decommissioning In Mauritania
Visit Rigs-to-Reef website for an in-depth look at each of the projects and more.
Why We Should Care
The ecosystems found on many oil and gas platforms have so much to offer. Not only does it positively impact the native species, it’s also important to local fisheries, recreational divers and to the overall health of the ocean.
In addition, these platforms offer a unique environmental benefit, not something you’d normally associate with production and development of oil and gas. A benefit that will profit from the existence of oil rigs and its future decommissioning through the Rigs-to-Reefs program.
Blue Latitudes mission statement says it all, “Blue Latitudes unites science, policy, and communications to create innovative solutions for the complex ecological challenges associated with offshore structures.”
Next time we’ll dive into Part 2 of the Hyundai Young Entrepreneur series, “How Your Leftovers Could Feed The Homeless” with LaRayia Gaston, founder of Lunch on Me. Please share this article and spread the word about such a positive and inspiring initiative.