We have developed a low-cost, towable unit that can be deployed locally by a typical dive boat.
The current turbine design has 10x the flow rate of past upwellers, and has onboard solar and battery bank for power.
Each 5m diameter upweller can cool approximately 1 km² of reef by 1° C - enough for many reefs to drop below the bleaching threshold.
We are currently fundraising for our first field trial of the prototype unit. Design iteration will occur between trials in order to optimize the device for successful deployment and operations. Following the extended field trials, we will develop a manufacturing plan for volume production of the final design.
A comprehensive scientific review of the current literature on natural and artificial upwellings.
A suite of model coral reef organisms will be treated with isolated and combined environmental parameters of deep ocean water, varied over dosing intensity, to identify any harmful effects to organism physiology.
Existing theoretical models for the effects of hydrodynamic, biogeochemical, and ecological systems near natural upwellings will be synthesized to produce a general model of upwelling dynamics.
An AI-driven digital twin simulation will be developed to test different scenarios of artificial upwelling effects over scale and time, with explicit inclusion of predicted future uncertainty and changes to natural systems.
Community-scale mesocosms will test impacts to community assemblages and will be used to model hydrological dynamics and identify any scaling principles in a closed system.
In situ controlled field trial
A proof-of-concept in a semi-enclosed zone to assess effects and impacts to all natural systems and identify any scaling principles.
Medium and large scale field trials
Proof-of-concept trials in a natural setting, deployed at three different scales and across a gradient of exposure to the test subject, to assess effects to all natural systems and identify any scaling principles.
Social License and Regulatory Compliance
Artificial upwellings are deployed locally but have global significance. An essential component to successful deployment and operation is to engage stakeholders in the planning process and earn a social license to operate. A transparent public involvement process is part of our approach to a successful project, and in many jurisdictions, is required as part of environmental regulatory compliance.
We are developing an Environmental Impact Study and Public Involvement Plan template, as well as a Regulatory Advocacy Guide that will be included with each upweller unit. These contain comprehensive research background, methodologies, and plans that can be adapted to any location for rapid permitting.
Given acceptable results from laboratory and mesocosm experiments, pilot artificial upwellings will be deployed at sites of low, medium, and high environmental risk (determined by proximity to natural upwellings, local hydrodynamics, and reef health and resilience metrics).
All pilot deployments will have a comprehensive monitoring program to assess their performance and environmental effects, including a sensor array of data loggers that automatically populate to a public website, as well as onsite ecological and hydrological studies.
In order to effect positive change on the large scale that is needed to protect ecosystems from catastrophic loss, the number and size of deployed artificial upwellings must rapidly increase. Assuming all environmental impacts that are identified during the extensive research phase can be mitigated, we plan to aggressively scale up the number of deployments at a minimum rate of 4x per year.
This pace allows us to optimize the manufacturing process, reduce costs, and increase the total area we can cool exponentially.