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Canada’s largest ocean cultivator of seaweed, Cascadia Seaweed, has secured CAN $1.5 million in funding to accelerate commercialization of its large-scale agricultural products.
The funding, provided by the British Columbia Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) will enable Cascadia to develop its 100-hectare seaweed farm and bioprocessing facility in Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
Cascadia produces seaweed-derived biostimulants for crops and agrifeed supplements for animals, which it says have “the potential to reduce emissions at the megatonne scale”, while also contributing to food security by improving yields and increasing farmers’ profits.
Collaboration with indigenous communities to produce agricultural products
Cascadia Seaweed farms its seaweed in partnership with coastal First Nations in British Columbia, and currently has 25 hecatares under cultivation across 8 farm sites in 5 geographic areas. The company recently completed a harvest of 50 wet tonnes (or 50,000 kg) of seaweed, combinging two species, Saccharina latissima and Alaria marginata.
“Cascadia Seaweed and some Indigenous communities on the BC Coast have built a strong collaboration that involves cultivating seaweed and transforming it into agricultural products. This commendable joint initiative reduces methane emissions from cattle and improves soil carbon retention,” said Ged McLean, Executive Director of the BC Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy.
“Recognizing the vital role of kelp in future carbon management solutions, CICE is excited to support Cascadia in becoming a global leader in seaweed cultivation, pioneering first-of-its-kind advancements on the west coast,” he added.
Cascadia successful in securing funding and developing partnerships
In addition to the CICE funding, the company has also secured financial as well as practical support from organizations including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and the Metlakatla Development Corporation.
“We are thrilled to receive support from CICE, which will accelerate our plans to scale up the cultivation and bioprocessing of seaweeds into agricultural products. This builds on the support we’ve received from SDTC and AAFC and enables us to deliver nature-based and climate-positive solutions in a timely manner,” said Rob Napoli, CFO at Cascadia Seaweed.
“These agencies have vetted our solutions, which are expected to avoid the release of 1 megatonne of CO2 emissions by 2035,” Napoli added.
About Cascadia Seaweed
Cascadia Seaweed cultivates local species of seaweed on low-impact ocean farms in partnership with coastal First Nations. With that biomass, they produce liquid biostimulant products to elicit plant responses and defence mechanisms to stimulate growth and improve quality and stress tolerance, with a nature-based alternative to synthetic chemical fertilizers. The solids extracted from that process are being tested as an agrifeed supplement to reduce methane emissions, improve animal health, growth rates and feed conversion, and early results are exceeding expectations.
About the British Columbia Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy
The British Columbia Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that helps fund the development, commercialization and scaling of made-in-B.C. clean energy technologies and solutions – from Canada to the world. CICE unites B.C. innovators, leading corporations, government, academia, communities, and Indigenous rights holders around one primary focus: Advancing the world towards a net-zero carbon future.
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