Sargassum: A Problem or an Opportunity? With Alyson Myers and Brad Warren

August 29, 2021

What is increasingly a problem could be a new opportunity!

This week, hosts Peter Ravella and Tyler Buckingham explore the fascinating world of Sargassum, a booming macroalgae that is creating new challenges and opportunities for existing coastal interests and future blue economy ventures. Joining the show is Brad Warren, the host of ASPN's Changing Waters podcast and president of the National Fisheries Conservation Center; and, Alyson Myers, the president of Fearless Fund, an organization dedicated to sustainable ocean-based energy and food system solutions. With Sargassum and other macroalgae (seaweed) biomass exploding, the Fearless team is working to pioneer the research and product development needed to create a market for harvesting this renewable resource. The possibilities are exciting, with products ranging from plant-based plastics, to green energy, and sequestered carbon.

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Peter Ravella & Tyler Buckingham

Peter and Tyler joined forces in 2015 and from the first meeting began discussing a project that would become Coastal News Today and the American Shoreline Podcast Network. At the time, Peter and Tyler were coastal consultants for Pete’s firm, PAR Consulting, LLC. In that role, they worked with coastal communities in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, engaged in grant writing, coastal project development, shoreline erosion and land use planning, permitting, and financial planning for communities undertaking big beach restoration projects. Between and among their consulting tasks, they kept talking and kept building the idea of CNT & ASPN. In almost every arena they worked, public engagement played a central role. They spent thousands of hours talking with coastal stakeholders, like business owners, hotel operators, condo managers, watermen, property owners, enviros, surfers, and fishermen. They dived deep into the value, meaning, and responsibility for the American shoreline, segment-by-segment. Common threads emerged, themes were revealed, differences uncovered. There was a big conversation going on along the American shoreline! But, no place to have it. That's where CNT and ASPN were born.