Hey ocean protectors!
We have some huge news for you on this important day — it’s World Ocean Day 2021, and we just launched the world’s first cryptocurrency-supported kickstarter for environmental projects, SEAstarter.
This is a big deal for a bunch of reasons.
First of all, getting funding for environmental startups is not easy — ask anyone who has ever tried. You could have the most incredible idea, with potential to solve an urgent environmental problem — you could have the answer to ocean plastic pollution, or a new way to measure local ocean temperatures — but if your idea disenfranchises industries which have lobbying power, it can be extremely difficult to get off the ground. The only people who are going to fund you are people who have no connection to, or reliance upon, existing power structures.
Second, ideas to solve environmental problems need to become reality now. There’s no time to run a little pilot project, focus-group the logo, hold an ideas retreat — these projects need to explode into life, to start solving problems today, right now. They need immediate funding with no onerous procedures or paperwork. They need to focus on solving the problem, and not on administrating it.
That’s where we come in. If you’ve come across SEA Token, you know that we leverage a tax on transactions, and that 2% of that tax goes to our official partners to fight ocean degradation — those partners are Sea Shepherd (as featured in the Netflix documentary “Seaspiracy”), Oceanic Preservation Society, Coral Reef Alliance, 5 Gyres, GreenWave, FishAct, Project AWARE and Gili Eco Trust.
Now, a share of that fund will also go to our environmental kickstarter, SEAstarter. Through our partner networks, and through direct application via the website, we will seek out, fund, publicise and support ocean protection projects with potential to make an immediate and lasting impact. By the end of 2021, we aim to fund 20 new environmental projects, with a total estimated budget of $400,000.
Our first supported project is already signed up: led by PhD candidate Kristina Loosen, it’s a study of eDNA & elasmobranch biodiversity on the coastline of South Africa. The study will use environmental DNA (eDNA) — a new, non-lethal method of assessing presence or absence of species in a region — to monitor shark populations on the South African coastline.
The project forms Kristina’s PhD research at Stellenbosch University, supervised by Professor Conrad Matthee and Dr. Sara Andreotti, both figures on the forefront of shark population monitoring. So that’s another world-first for SEA Token — this is the first ever cryptocurrency-supported PhD!
Previously, researchers have used frequently lethal methods to monitor species populations — as in, they catch sharks, for example, to monitor shark populations. This is expensive, inefficient and, of course, not great if your aim is to protect endangered species. eDNA allows researchers to get that information without touching a single creature — the DNA material is shed by an animal into its environment, and by simply taking water samples, scientists can build presence/absence data for any number of species.
This is game changing stuff. For more details on Kristina’s project, and to keep up to date as the project progresses, visit www.seastarter.org
Over the coming weeks and months you can expect to see some incredibly exciting new projects emerging through SEAstarter — projects which give us hope for the future of our oceans. We’re already assessing a pool of 14 new projects, with new applications coming in on a daily basis.
And of course, the best part — if you want to support the projects you see on SEAstarter, you do it simply by investing in SEA Token. We are not asking for donations — you invest in SEA just as you would invest in any other cryptocurrency with great potential; but you can relax in the knowledge that your investment is making a difference, driving new environmental projects forward, and making the future brighter for our oceans, for our planet, and for us as a species.
For more info on SEAstarter, including details on how to apply with your own project idea, go to www.seastarter.org
For more info on SEA Token in general, including how to invest and contribute, go to www.seatoken.org