Viewing Blue Latitudes - University of California 3rd Annual Pitch Competition

Amber Jackson

Alumni of UC Berkeley - Marine Science (Undergraduate)
Alumni of UC San Diego (Graduate)

Blue Latitudes

Blue Latitudes is a certified women-owned marine environmental consulting firm. Our purpose is to unite science, policy, and communications to develop sustainable, creative and cost-effective solutions to manage the environmental issues that surround the offshore energy industry. We provide regulatory compliance services, market analyses and ecological data to enable our clients to make informed decisions regarding offshore resources. Our clients include industry, government, and nonprofits. Blue Latitudes (BL) is deeply invested in the concept of re-purposing offshore energy infrastructure for the benefit of the environment. As we continue to develop and utilize offshore resources, we must be keenly aware of our footprint on the environment and opportunities to mitigate our negative impacts. All over the globe, mankind has exploited our oceans in every way imaginable. Despite this constant onslaught, some of the world’s most productive ecosystems have been thriving beneath the towering steel structures of offshore oil and gas platforms. There are hundreds of offshore platforms found in almost every ocean around the world, and it is estimated that many will be decommissioned, or completely removed, in the next ten years. Completely removing an offshore oil and gas platform is both costly and environmentally taxing, especially when you consider the marine ecosystems colonizing these structures. In fact, recent studies found that California’s platforms are “amongst some of the most productive marine fish habitats globally”. The Rigs-to-Reefs (RtR) program offers oil companies the opportunity to keep their platforms in place so that they may continue to support marine life as an artificial reef, rather than completely removing the structure, as is required by law. When a platform is reefed, the well is capped, and the platform structure is converted from an oil or gas production facility to an artificial reef. Since the program’s inception in 1985, the Gulf of Mexico has reefed more than 450 platforms. Despite this, the rest of the world has been slow to follow. Only a handful of countries have implemented a RtR law, and even fewer have actually reefed their platforms. Understanding the value of the RtR program, BL has tapped into a radical opportunity to re-purpose existing infrastructure as sustainable reefs. Our “big idea” is to take the RtR concept to market, encouraging regulators, industry, and the public to think creatively about the future of ocean conservation. BL, founded in 2015 by Amber Jackson and Emily Hazelwood, is a certified women-owned marine environmental consulting firm. Amber and Emily were listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the energy sector in 2018 for their efforts with BL to develop sustainable, creative, and cost-effective solutions for the environmental issues that surround the offshore energy industry. Our vision at BL is to find silver linings in our oceans at the intersection of industry and the environment. Key examples of our work include re-purposing offshore infrastructure as artificial reefs and utilizing Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) maintenance surveys to develop complex biological baselines. We combine our industry expertise with research-based insights and technical tools to assess offshore infrastructure on a case-by-case basis to determine the best environmental, economic, and socially responsible outcomes available for our clients. We’ve honed our expertise over the past six years through a myriad of multi-faceted experiences including designing and implementing biological studies using ROVs, mapping our oceans with Google, and hosting panel sessions at the world’s largest decommissioning conference. We understand the often-complex environmental issues that face the offshore energy industry and have developed relationships with regulatory agencies that are based on a shared goal to manage offshore development in a way that is both environmentally sustainable and fiscally responsible. Our research insights are supported by expert advisors at major universities around the world, and we utilize these relationships to strengthen our scientific understanding of the issues that face our oceans. We leverage our experience at Google, mapping the ocean floor, to visually present mitigation solutions to manage conflicting interests that utilize the ocean as a resource and lessen the frequency of negative interactions between ocean stakeholders. Our background in science communications helps us relay complex scientific ideas to a variety of audiences. We recognize that community engagement is just as critical as industry engagement. Consequently, we have made it a corner-stone of our mission to interact with a broad demographic of audiences and stakeholders utilizing multiple communication strategies and platforms, including major news outlets, social media, lectures, publications, and film.



Primary Industry Sector: Environment
This is a a woman-founded Startup
Funding Status: Series A

9

amber@bluelatitudes.org

Series A

Environment

http://www.rig2reefexploration.org/

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

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