Vesta

Overview

Coastal Carbon Capture is a way to harness the power of the oceans to accelerate the Earth's natural long-term carbon dioxide removal process and enhance coastal resilience.

Vesta is a Public Benefit Corporation, a mission-driven company dedicated to leaving a world in which all can thrive. We prioritize the needs of the planet and the communities in which we work over profit.

Part of the funding for our scientific research is from the Coastal Carbon Capture Impact Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Vesta's mission is to further the science of Coastal Carbon Capture and galvanize global deployment.

Accelerating a Natural Process

Vesta’s approach accelerates the carbon removal part of the carbonate-silicate cycle, which is an ancient natural process.

Our primary method for doing this is Coastal Carbon Capture, in which we add the natural mineral olivine, milled down to beach-compatible sand, to coastal protection projects. There, it gradually dissolves in the seawater, reducing ocean acidity and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

Thirty years of scientific research point to this working and provide evidence that it could be a highly affordable and scalable way to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The process captures up to 20 times more carbon dioxide than is emitted from the extraction and transportation of the olivine. While we are currently operating at a small scale, we calculate that deploying olivine in 0.1%-0.25% of global shelf seas could be sufficient to remove 1 billion tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.

A Scientific Approach

Our mission is to further the science of coastal enhanced weathering to determine whether large scale deployment is warranted. To that end, we have been conducting lab experiments and modeling studies, and planning the first field pilots of Coastal Carbon Capture at a number of sites, including locations in the United States and Dominican Republic.

Such field pilots will only proceed if several gating factors are met, including i) successful completion of EPA-standard ecotoxicology testing, ii) receiving all applicable regulatory approvals, iii) support from the local communities at pilot sites.


All scientists in the field are welcome to contribute to the design of these experiments, and to analyze the resulting data.

Once we have finished the experiments and published the data, we hope to deliver to the world a blueprint and integrated model for deploying olivine in coastal areas.

The Enhanced Weathering Integrated Assessment Model (EWIAM) will enable any government or private organization to safely deploy Coastal Carbon Capture and measurably remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

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Social Science

One of the clearest injustices of the climate crisis is that those who contribute the least to the problem suffer the brunt of it. The worst effects are being felt by underserved, lower-income communities around the world, including certain coastal communities. 

A considerable gap remains in scientific understanding of public perceptions of negative emissions technologies, particularly within developing countries.  

It is crucial that equality and justice are at the heart of any attempt to tackle climate change. 

Vesta has developed a justice-based approach to partner with coastal communities through participatory governance frameworks that proactively integrate multi-stakeholder perspectives. 


We involve local coastal communities in decision-making
At all potential deployment sites, we engage with the local community before we study the ocean. In consultation with experts - both academics and practitioners - we have developed a process for building relationships with people from the local community, listening to their perspectives, and involving them in decision-making.

At one of our prospective pilot sites in the Dominican Republic, we employ local community experts to co-design and perform community engagement activities that seek to understand local perceptions and concerns of Coastal Carbon Capture. This includes conducting surveys, town hall events, and meetings with various groups within the community. While the project is overseen at the federal level by a committee with representation from several agencies, we have made it clear to the committee that we value the input of local stakeholders such as those who fish at the beach. Our participatory governance framework will ensure that all points of view are listened to, with particular emphasis on respecting the perspectives of those who will experience Coastal Carbon Capture most directly.

We seek to reduce injustice and inequity
Vesta wishes to have a positive impact in the communities in which we work. We avoid assuming that we know that means to the people in those communities; instead, we ask. We donate 1% of any carbon credit revenues we generate to benefit underserved coastal communities.

In addition to employing people in community engagement, Vesta employs other skilled workers to help manage the Vesta Research Station. Vesta funds local conservation nonprofits to undertake collaborative scientific research. In addition, Vesta is supporting local students in science by offering internships where they can learn state-of-the-art scientific techniques.

We seek to advance society’s understanding of perceptions of Ocean CDR and give a voice to the under-served
There is very little social science research examining perceptions of Ocean CDR, particularly of those in the Global South disproportionately vulnerable to climate risks. Since Vesta hopes to conduct Coastal Carbon Capture in a variety of countries, we aim to close that gap and ensure the perspectives of under-represented communities are included in the peer-reviewed literature.

Vesta is working in collaboration with scientific collaborators and local community engagement experts to conduct social science research at potential deployment sites, including in the Global South. We plan to publish comparative research examining how perceptions and concerns of Ocean CDR and Coastal Carbon Capture vary across countries.

History - Where We Came From

Vesta was born out of a climate change think-tank called Climitigation. This group investigated as many carbon capture solutions as possible, searching for one that had received too little attention and investment.

Climitigation found that coastal enhanced weathering was a process with enormous potential for cheap, permanent carbon capture at massive scale. Further, they found that the technology was stuck in the lab, despite real-life beach pilots being the clear next step.

No one was bringing together the combination of multidisciplinary science, government support, funding, and sheer force of will that would help this technology ‘cross the chasm’ between theory and maturity. Vesta was founded to do exactly this.

We would like to thank:

The late Dr. Olaf Schuiling for coming up with the concept of coastal enhanced weathering with olivine. A major part of his life's work was dedicated to this research in service of mitigating climate change.

Eric Matzner for articulating a global vision for scaling coastal enhanced weathering. Eric led the formation of Vesta and worked tirelessly to take Olaf’s work to the next level.

If we have seen further, it is because we stand on the shoulders of visionaries like these two. We are grateful for their insight, passion, and dedication.

Our Ethos

Holistic

We consider the entire life-cycle of the impacts of this nature-based solution. We aim to capture 20 times the CO2 we emit. We measure the ecological effects of our entire process from quarries to coastlines, and wherever possible seek to have a regenerative effect on the ecosystems and communities we touch.

Rigorous

We hold our research to the highest standards. All of our ongoing modeling and laboratory experiments will be published in peer-reviewed journals upon completion. Coastal Carbon Capture will be implemented in a natural environment, which necessitates the utmost care. Our ongoing research with different scientists across various institutions will serve as the necessary foundation prior to studies in the field.

Scalable

Scale is paramount. We believe that to have a serious impact, solutions must be able to remove at least a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. Our goal is to achieve at least that.

collaborative

This immense challenge requires extensive collaboration. We work with the global scientific community to publish peer reviewed research. We partner with local communities, governments, NGOs, academic institutions, and the private sector to advance the field with the ultimate goal of safe global deployment.


Inspiration

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We will accomplish our mission by using the power of natural wave energy in coastal areas. Today, we know that reducing carbon dioxide emissions alone will not be enough to solve the climate crisis: we need to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Fortunately, nature already has a way, billions of years old, to do this – by weathering volcanic minerals. When rain falls on volcanic rocks and washes them into the ocean, this causes a reaction which removes CO2 from the atmosphere and locks it up in limestone at the bottom of the ocean.

The team would like to thank R.D. Schuiling and Poppe De Boer, whose passion for olivine weathering and insightful research provided significant inspiration for the Vesta vision, and whose work in many ways continues to guide this promising field.

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Going Negative

Direct Air Capture With Climeworks

Going Negative

Returning CO2 into the Earth and making carbon negative hydrogen

Going Negative

Political Philosophy, Climate Change, and Nori

Going Negative

Interview with Amanda Ravenhill of the Buckminster Fuller Institute

Going Negative

The State of Carbon Dioxide Removal and the Oceans

Going Negative

Carbon Dioxide Removal - State of Play and Recent News

Project Vesta becomes Vesta

Two Recent Developments in Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement with Olivine

Latest Progress & Updated Corporate Structure

Project Vesta announces $1.6M grant from Additional Ventures

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Why We Must Remove Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere

Eric Matzner

Mother Jones Highlights Project Vesta as a Weapon Against Climate Change

Eric Matzner

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Senior Scientist, Geochemistry

We are seeking to hire a Senior Scientist with a background in aqueous geochemistry, marine geochemistry, biogeochemistry or a related field, as well as extensive experience in field and laboratory experiments, to lead the world’s first field trial of Coastal Enhanced Weathering in Long Island, NY, USA.

Chief Financial Officer

We are not looking for a typical CFO. Table stakes is being a competent and experienced CFO capable of helping a growing company scale. Beyond that, we need someone who is deeply passionate about addressing the climate crisis, ready to dig in deeply and understand the myriad scientific factors which affect our approach, and excited to navigate the complexities of a complicated capital stack including philanthropic funding, grants, and project finance.

Director Of Research

We are seeking to hire a Director of Research with a background in aqueous geochemistry, marine geochemistry, biogeochemistry or a related field, as well as extensive experience in field/laboratory research, designing and managing multi-stakeholder projects, and science communication. This position will report to the VP of Scientific Research to help lead the global scientific research program and the world’s first field trials of Coastal Enhanced Weathering.

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Vesta's hybrid structure enables philanthropic donations to fund open research in the field of Coastal Carbon Capture. For all large gift enquiries, PLEASE EMAIL OUR Development team