Published on Aug 6, 2014
(Earth Focus: Episode 66) Oceans support life, yet they are overfished, polluted, and, with global climate change, are becoming increasingly acidic. The XPrize Ocean Initiative seeks to solve some of these critical threats by bringing in teams from around the world for high-profile competitions to find the best new technologies and stimulate investment in research and development. After the massive Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Wendy Schmidt Oil Clean up XCHALLENGE in 2011 awarded $1.4 million to a team that demonstrated an oil recovery cleanup rate four times greater than the industry’s previous best recovery rate. A second $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE is spurring innovators to develop accurate and affordable pH sensors to deepen our understanding of ocean acidification, which threatens the growth of shellfish and coral reefs.