This week on the Seeds of Tao Podcast we have Daniel Kleinman with us, a marine robotics engineer passionate about creating awareness of the issues our oceans are facing and inspiring us to get out there and do something about it. To get involved with Daniel or follow his journey check out…
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In permaculture, we talk a lot about how there are many issues in the world needing fixing, but we need to start with our communities to create real, lasting change. That doesn’t mean that we should be disconnected from the global problems we’re facing though. And what about the oceans? If we live inland, we aren’t really connected to them, right?
In the episode, Daniel emphasizes that this is not a coastal issue, our oceans affect everyone and everyone is affecting our oceans in one way or another. He begs the question, “How do we save our oceans before it’s too late? And some would say it’s already too late. This isn’t just a solution problem, it’s an infrastructure project.” Throughout Daniel’s career and education, he’s seen the siloing happening for the funding of private interests for ocean exploration and innovation. The very infrastructure of the ocean space is working against its health and vitality.
Pollution is not the only issue the oceans are facing, but it’s a big one and it comes in many flavors. From chemical pollution to light pollution, to noise pollution, to plastic pollution, mankind has found all sorts of ways to disrupt the very ecosystem that covers 71% of the earth. This doesn’t even touch the HUGE issue of over-fishing… but what are we supposed to do about it?
In the regenerative sphere, we like to clearly delineate between sustainability and regeneration. Sustainability is great and all, but holding the line isn’t going to fix what’s going on. Daniel argues that it’s the same with the oceans, “Sustainability is only a partial step in solving the problem.” Reducing our waste doesn’t eliminate the New Jersey-sized dead zone on the Gulf of Mexico. That doesn’t mean that reducing our plastic use, and buying produce that DOESN’T result in chemical pollution of pesticides and fertilizers in the oceans isn’t a good idea, it’s just not the end all be all. Voting with our dollars is extremely important, but it’s more than that… There has to be a positive movement in the opposite direction if any healing is going to happen, just like on the land in our gardens.
When asked about how we need to move forward, Daniel relates that it needs to start with empathy. If people aren’t aware of and concerned about the problems, massive change just simply isn’t going to happen. It’s the same with the topsoil degradation of traditional agriculture. If people don’t really understand the problem and their place in it, they’re not going to see the need for a better way. By increasing awareness and empathy, we can get people thinking about solutions. This is why Daniel’s Seaworthy Collective isn’t focused only on being a startup to help a specific area along the coast, they’re working towards helping the innovative thinkers to build the businesses and organizations that are needed to create positive change. But you don’t have to be living on the coast to get involved with the ocean regeneration movement.
In the episode, Daniels says that to get involved, it starts with the community whether that’s getting involved in Seaworthy Collective’s community, or starting your own. Getting like-minded people together is powerful, and it opens up space for people to apply their own discipline to the ocean conversation. What are your strengths, background, or passion? How could you also apply that to the oceans? We’ve noticed many permies have taken to the oceans in hope of restoring the kelp ecosystems through regenerative sea kelp farming, as mentioned by Daniel as well. There’s always a place for positive change-makers, and with today’s possibilities for travel and virtual communication, there’s really no excuse anymore to not be involved.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode, and are looking forward to joining the conversation about ocean regeneration. If you have an idea you’d like to move forward with, join in our weekly MOKR Masterminds where you can have a community to bounce ideas off of and start moving forward with the projects you’re truly passionate about. Also, check out Seaworthy Collective and join the conversation with them.
Until next time, keep growing permies!
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