After over 2 years of foundational research, Vesta is preparing for its first field pilots
Our pilots aim to address the urgent call in The National Academy of Sciences Report for field pilots of Coastal Carbon Capture. Three major pillars form each field pilot.
1. Stakeholder engagement
Vesta works with local communities in both public and private sectors to inform, plan, and design field pilots. Our participatory governance integrates input from local and regional stakeholders into the implementation and permitting of Coastal Carbon Capture.
2. Environmental Impact Assessment
Vesta conducts extensive ecosystem monitoring before and after olivine placement including ecological and ecotoxicological assessments of local fauna.
3. Quantification of CO₂ removal
Vesta assesses CO₂ removal through numerous approaches including monitoring changes in carbonate chemistry, alkalinity, secondary minerals, nutrients, sediment transport, and other biogeochemical and physical parameters.
The Town of Southampton is implementing a beach nourishment project to replenish sand at North Sea Beach. North Sea Beach Colony (NSBC) is a community located on the North Shore of Long Island bordering Little Peconic Bay. Like many coastal areas, NSBC is experiencing shoreline erosion. Over the last decade, New York alone has deployed more than 25 million cubic yards of sand to restore eroding coastlines in the state through a method called beach nourishment: a shoreline protection approach used in the USA and worldwide for over a century to replenish eroding beaches with sand.
In an effort to restore a section of North Sea Beach, the Southampton Town Board formed the NSBC Beach Erosion Control District (NSBC-BECD). In 2020, NSBC-BECD executed phase 1 of this beach nourishment project which placed sand from North Sea Harbor Inlet onto a portion of North Sea Beach. Phase 2 of this project, slated for 2022, involves a second placement of sand onto North Sea Beach. In 2021, Vesta entered into talks with the firm First Coastal and the Town of Southampton to explore the potential to amend the phase 2 nourishment with a small amount of olivine sand, equaling 5% of the total nourishment volume. After close to a year of project scoping and stakeholder engagement with NSBC, Southampton Town, US Army Corps Of Engineers (USACE), local organizations, and state and federal regulatory agencies, the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a permit to the Town of Southampton in March 2022 authorizing the addition of 500 cubic yards of olivine sand to the NSBC-BECD phase 2 nourishment. Additional permits from Suffolk County, New York Department of State, and USACE were also secured.
The primary objectives of the NSBC-BECD phase 2 project are to 1) replenish lost sand due to beach erosion, 2) study the dissolution of olivine sand in seawater to determine the rate and quantity of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) removal, and 3) monitor any environmental effects from the placement of olivine sand. To achieve these objectives, NSBC-BECD project is collaborating with the following project partners:
This project supports the sustainability goals of the Town of Southampton and the state of New York to achieve reduced and net zero greenhouse gas emissions outlined in the Town Southampton 400+ and NY State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019. For more information on the timeline and details of the project, please visit our project website.
This site will be one of Project Vesta’s first demonstration pilots of Coastal Carbon Capture™ and serves as an important part of its overall research program. It will generate critical data concerning the safety and effectiveness of this solution. This pilot also supports the State of New York’s Carbon Dioxide Removal Leadership Act toward its ultimate goal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.