Permitting Seaweed Cultivation for Carbon Sequestration in California: Barriers and Recommendations
By Korey Silverman-Roati, Romany M. Webb, and Michael B. Gerrard
Interest is growing in seaweed cultivation and sequestration as a carbon dioxide removal strategy. This white paper explores the barriers to seaweed permitting for carbon sequestration in California, including a complex, costly, and time-consuming lease and permitting process. Other states in the U.S., namely Maine and Alaska, have permitting systems designed to be more supportive of seaweed cultivation. This paper describes the legal framework for seaweed cultivation permitting in California and discusses the permitting systems in Maine and Alaska. The paper then explores possible reforms to streamline California’s permitting process, while maintaining appropriate environmental and other safeguards.