My goal was to design platforms that would allow plants to do what they do best.
Platforms are units that are designed to support plants in new environments. I have created a land base as well as aquatic versions of my designs. My goal was to mitigate the lost of forest due to over development. I also saw this as a opportunity to introduce agriculture into urban environments.
For the land-base units, I took my inspiration from the baobab trees of Madagascar and the cacti of the American Southwest. Like those plants, I designed the land-based Platforms to store water inside a solid structure. Each platform unit will come with a solar powered drip irrigation system, a water tank, as well as containers for growing crops or just greening up a space. With this design, I see urban streets, avenue, alley, and parks being converted into a new farmscape.
With the Aquatic Platforms, I wanted to design structures that would support a verity of kelp and other aquatic plants. As you are probably aware, kelp absorbs CO2 better than any other plant. My goal was to create a series of human-made kelp forest off the coast of every continent.
Like the land-based unit, I wanted to go with a low-tech, low maintenance design. The first version is a plant platform that is anchored to the sea floor and held afloat by buoys. Picture a horizontal pole suspended in the water by two floats. To keep the pole stable and fixed to a location, two anchors are attached to ends.
The second design is made from a large central buoy tethered to smaller buoys. Like the first version, all the buoys will be anchored to sea floor. The cable connecting the smaller buoys to the larger will provide a platform for floating kelp. My goal is to provide a new habitat for marine animals and create new sustainable fishing areas.
What actions do you propose?
Like I stated before, Platforms are low tech solutions to a global problem. We know how to build everything; from fishing nets to oil platforms. Adding this simple technology to our economy won't break the bank or cost any jobs. I see this as a worldwide community effort.
Who will take these actions?
I would like to bring the petroleum industry in on this project. They would have the extensive knowledge about building structures on open water. They would also have contacts in some the highest levels of governments.
For the land based units, I would like it to be a community effort. I would like the local officials to work with home/land owners with installation and maintenance. The home/property owner will be responsible for planting, watering, harvesting, and light maintenance.
Where will these actions be taken?
The smaller aquatic platforms are designs for any country next to a open sea or ocean. For the larger floating platforms, I wanted to focus on the area off the west coast of Ecuador. There is a large stretch of open ocean where the winds rarely blows. I think this would be the idea location for a floating forest.
With the land units, Each one will place throughout a city or develop area. We can use the city typography to enhance the idea growing conditions of certain types of plants. For example, tomatoes(which need warm temperatures to grow) would be planted on south slope of a neighborhood on a hill.
How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?
If we scaled all the platforms designs up to a substantial number, I think we replicate about twenty five percent of the Amazon rainforest.
What are other key benefits?
The land based platforms were designed to reduced the amount of land needed for farming; and to bring crops closer to where we live. For the aquatic platform, I wanted to create a new habitat for marine animals. I also wanted to provide a platform for kelp because it has a relative short life span; which is idea for carbon sequestration.
What are the proposal’s costs?
The land based designs should cost about $300-$500 each. The small aquatic unit should cost about $400 each. I will need to consult with structural engineers to get a cost on the large aquatic platform.
The smaller platforms can be made and installed in the next 1-5 years. The larger floating platforms is a 10-20 project.
NOAA- Ecosystems-Kelp Forests
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment-US Santa Cruz-Chris Wilmers and James Estes.