My ocean forest

Seaweed growing in the ocean

Photo by Oleksander Sushko

I've wanted to own a forest for years. Trees. Bushes. Animals. Pure Nature.

In my mind, that forest was always a land based forest. Because that's what I know. What I grew up with.

A few weeks ago, I watched the documentary "2040". It's an awesome movie. In it, Brian von Herzen from the Climate Foundation talks about how marine permaculture can help save the oceans, draw down huge amounts of carbon and provide food and other goods. All at the same time.

It sounded awesome. And too good to be true. So I dug in and read loads of articles and studies. Watched all the YouTube clips I could find about growing seaweed, farming seaweed, marine permaculture. And read "Eat Like a Fish" by Bren Smith.

Turns out: Growing seaweed is that good. You can use seaweed for a huge variety of use cases. Food. Animal feed. Fertilizer. Bio fuel. Cosmetics. Sinking it in the ocean and getting carbon credits for it (which is currently not possible as far as I can see). All the while, the seaweed provides shelter and a place to live for all kinds of sea life. This excites me.

So… what if I could own a forest in the water?

There's a lot hiding in that idea. Helping fight climate change. Building a local business somewhere. Providing meaningful jobs to people. Helping nature. Revive the ocean.

There are also so many questions in my head. How do you get permits for a seaweed forest? Where can you do this? Which kind of seaweed can you grow without harming the existing marine fauna? Will fish really settle and thrive in a seaweed forest? How much does all this cost? What could a sustainable business model look like? Who would help fund such a business?

I'll keep my current way of earning money by writing code. And I'll think a lot about these questions. I will reach out to people to get an idea of how to do this.

And at some point, I will have my own forest.

In the ocean.