University of North Carolina

Climate change portends a grave threat to the planet’s health and vitality. A recent IPCC report concluded that greenhouse gas emissions must be dramatically reduced by 2040 to avoid catastrophic warming. Concurrently, increasingly destructive storms and flooding events are projected to cost the U.S. over $1 trillion in damage – making coastal communities that depend on the marine environment economically unstable.

To address growing food security risks, widespread estuary pollution and ocean habitat degradation, Phyta is devoted to sustainably cultivating seaweed in temperate coastal waters. In addition to its value as an alternative consumer ingredient, seaweed can reduce carbon emissions, offset agricultural nutrient pollution, and serve other climate moderating purposes.

Phyta is crafting a protocol for carbon sequestration and land-based agricultural pollution absorption that will engage under-employed shellfish farmers in North Carolina. Phyta will provide a turnkey growing system to farmers, while retaining the carbon and pollution removal credits associated with its operations. The business model and service protocols are designed to support economic development in coastal communities and significantly increase the production of seaweed worldwide.
By its innovations in coastal seaweed cultivation, Phyta provides a sustainable new ingredient for consumer industries, while supporting economic development and marine conservation. In the months ahead, our team will engage partners with industry, business, and aquaculture expertise to support the installation of a network of farms. Working alongside experienced fishermen, Phyta will refine its production and processing strategies to encourage responsible resource use: one that honors traditional practices of work in the marine environment.

Eliza Harrison
Emily Kian