Blue Institute takes interdisciplinary actions for resilient oceans & waters.
830 million people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water. 2.3 billion do not have access to sanitary facilities. For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of at least $4 is returned in increased productivity. (Sanitation returns $5.50 from $1 and water returns $2 from $1). (WHO)
With the existing climate change scenario, by 2030, water scarcity in some arid and semi-arid places will displace between 24 million and 700 million people. (UNCCD).
Increased pressure on water security, food shortages, and the opening of Arctic channels are areas of great concern.
Locally, our coasts are our economy. Innovative technology designs are needed to strengthen existing decentralized wastewater systems or the implementation of centralized sewering.
Globally, 80% of wastewater flows back into the ecosystem without being reated or reused (UNESCO).
39% of the global population (2.9 billion people) use a safely managed sanitation service. Most of these people (3 out of 5) live in urban areas. (WHO/UNICEF). It is estimated by 2050 85% of the global population will live in coastal areas.
Global water demand (in terms of water withdrawals) is projected to increase by 55% by 2050, mainly because of growing demands from manufacturing (400% increase). The opportunities from exploiting wastewater as a resource are enormous. Safely managed wastewater is an affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials. (UNESCO).
71% of the earth's surface is water, and only 5% of that is drinkable, the rest is saltwater. Microplastics are small plastic pieces less than five millimeters long which can be harmful to our ocean and aquatic life. Plastic is the most prevalent type of marine debris found in our ocean and Great Lakes.
Our unique water-centric undergraduate “Blue Semester” program - the first cohort in 2022 will be comprised of hands on experiential learning drawing from cross-disciplinary fields integrating science, art, policy, engineering, humanities, economics, and technology, and mini-internships with area practitioners, agencies and organizations. The program will introduce students to the rapidly growing opportunities in the “blue economy" & to also create a generation of “water knowledge ambassadors" to better serve the world. Introductory level, advanced undergrad and graduate courses will be available. Are you a college student or know one who might be interested in participating? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Community engagement offerings on water and climate change cover many disciplines such as the Seaweed & Algae panel, local authors community writing workshops, and "Words on Water" writing competition for World Oceans Day, community science panels, Women on Water lecture series, H20 STEM Community Conference. K-12 special curriculum events for children, and future educational support for teachers through hands-on research focused workshops are being developed. We are the happy recipient of a significant and valuable gifts of numerous tethered ROV's (remote operated vehicles) and look forward to having students try these out in the water when covid allows.
Collaboration is one of our most important ideals. As the planning progresses on our residential campus we welcome growing our partnerships with academic institutions, government agencies, NGOs and philanthropic companies. We believe strongly in the open access campus philosophy, creating a Blue Innovation Center that will be easily accessible to all.
Also in planning are cross-generational collaborations through classroom and onsite experiential learning incorporating schools, community, and senior citizen area programs. We are particularly excited to be currently working with students from UMass Dartmouth, Northeastern University as well as the MET School in Newport, Rhode Island. At the end of the day its all about the next generation!
When the BLUE Innovation Center will be up and running research residencies will be open to scientists, graduate students and advanced undergraduates completing capstone projects. Students will have access to entrepreneurs and the innovation labs, fresh and salt water testing sites, and the area marine environments. The Institute supports sustainable water & ocean research which will bring together private and public sector projects, and research scientists in a unique open-access academic and environmental setting fostering collaborative exchanges, blue cluster development, and an innovative ecosystem. We are all about networking ideas, resources, people, and projects - locally, regionally, and internationally.
BlueTech and Blue Economy startups, particularly early stage companies need mentorship from scientists , engineers , and other "in the field practitioners " technologists or aqua-culturalists. Entrepreneurship is hard. Water and Ocean related technologies and services are incredibly challenging because they need to be designed or deployed in the harshest environments on earth. Blue Institute is uniquely situated to support Bluetech and Blue Economy startups at the early stages of growth through specialized programming, networking, internship placements, and pilot & proto-typing opportunities. We are particularly focused on inclusive engagement and creating more opportunities for women and entrepreneurs of color to not only thrive in BlueTech & Blue Economy, but drive the BlueTech and the Blue Economy. Please visit the BLUE Excelerator page to meet the awesome climate startups we are currently working with!
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