Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 12, 2007
To introduce its remedial reprise of Darwin's 1831 Voyage of Discovery, Silicon Valley ecorestoration firm Planktos, Inc. sailed its research ship Weatherbird II to the nation's capitol on March 6 for a series of events to awaken policymakers and the public to the immense climatic, ecological and economic significance of ocean plankton restoration. Covered by the Discovery Channel for a special Earth Day program, the mission's Greenpeace-escorted DC arrival was the highpoint of a busy week of lobbying and briefing activity.
The Weatherbird's DC visit ended with the March 8 launch of its two-year Voyage of Recovery, a pioneering ocean science effort to restore vital phytoplankton populations, significantly slow the rate of global warming, and offer climate policy makers important, affordable new options. The voyage will comprise six four-month large-scale pilot projects to apply the science of iron micronutrient replenishment in depleted Pacific and Atlantic basins, and thereby also help recharge the marine food chain and deep-ocean sequester millions of tons of global warming CO2. .
Major Planktos "Voyage of Recovery" developments - Week One:
March 5~6: Planktos Atlantic seaboard rep, Kyle Hence finishes initial contacts with all the Congressional committees working on climate change as well as the sponsors and scientific advisers for the 6 main global warming bills now in the legislative pipe. According to Hence, "Planktos is working to ensure the ocean's enormous natural CO2 sequestration potential is recognized and prioritized in any future federal climate change laws, and we are finding real enthusiasm for this powerful green approach."
March 7: Planktos holds National Press Club briefing, ship tours and pre-launch Yacht Club reception. The news conference was led off by former United Nations Environmental Programme chair and Planktos Chief Advisor, Dr. Noel Brown, "I cannot overstate the importance of these Planktos pilot projects. If their applied science works as well as the early research indicates, this work will both help restore the neglected oceans and give everyone concerned about global warming truly meaningful hope." The briefing panel discussed the science and technology of the mission as well as its implications for the climate, ocean ecosystems and economic health.
During the briefing International Seakeepers Society CEO John Englander formally inducted Planktos CEO Russ George as a Founding Member of the Society which will also be offering the Voyage of Recovery scientific help. The tours and evening reception brought together a highly diverse group including representatives from National Public Radio, large energy consortiums and the US Naval Research Laboratory as well as the head of Greenpeace marine operations and a policy advisor to well-known global warming skeptic Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK). News conference transcripts are available upon request.
March 8: The Planktos Weatherbird II sets off from DC on the first leg of its historic mission to the Galapagos and beyond. At the ring of the morning bell on the stock exchange in New York, Planktos Corp. began its new life under the ticker symbol OTCBB:PLKT.
March 9: Weatherbird II arrives in Norfolk shipyard for installation of new research vans and final outfitting for the initial Galapagos pilot project to commence in May. She will also be equipped with satellite communications gear to hold real time briefings with high school and university science networks during the course of the blooms.
-- Oceans cover 71% of the planet "Earth." Their phytoplankton plants produce most of our oxygen, remove most of our atmospheric CO2, and feed all other life in the sea. They can also help us alleviate climate change.
-- Phytoplankton need iron to grow and photosynthesize, but human activities and increasing CO2 emission levels have cut the aerial dust delivery of this vital micronutrient to the open oceans by nearly 30% in the last thirty years
-- In some ocean basins this iron shortfall has reduced phytoplankton life by more than 25% and caused a 10%+ loss globally.
-- Returning these plankton populations to 1980 levels of health would help slow ocean acidification and regenerate billions of tons of nourishment for fisheries, seabirds and whales each year.
-- Plankton restoration to 1980 levels will also annually remove 3~4 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, helping to slow global warming 5 times more effectively than immediate universal compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, and thus affordably open the door to the bolder cuts and policies we really require.
-- Since 1992 the international ocean research community has spent tens of millions of dollars and conducted many trials verifying the essential efficacy of iron replenishment for restoring plankton life. Ocean scientists now call for this work to be ramped up an order of magnitude to study its true potential for healing our climate and seas.
-- Planktos has acquired and refitted the Bermuda Biological Station's former NSF/UNOLS flagship Weatherbird II to lead this two-year Voyage of Recovery and the ship set out from Washington, DC on March 8th to begin this momentous work. Planktos will begin the first 4-month pilot project off the Galapagos in late May.
For more information and updates, please visit http://www.planktos.com