We have data!
Dr. Legena Henry, CEO and Founder of Rum & Sargassum Inc., recently led a six-member team on an initial open water research deployment to capture data on Sargassum seaweed biomass influx patterns in the coastal areas around Barbados.
“This was a successful deployment, with excellent productivity. Sargassum seaweed influx hasn’t been huge over the last few months. Mats are small and scattered. So we took some data in those conditions. We can now document protocols for our full-scale deployment later this year and early next year, in December and January, to take a closer look at thicker Sargassum mats,” Henry said.
The team included Technical Advisors Heidi Jack and Felicia Cox, PhD researcher Shamika Spencer, photojournalist Jameel Springer, and Steven Hollingsworth of Blue Bot Project. BlueBot is a semi-autonomous underwater robot that collects real-time data to monitor ocean health and impacts of climate change.
“We collected a Sargassum sample, geo-referenced it, then sent the Blue Bot into the water and captured the flowing Sargassum sample from underneath,” Henry said.
Rum & Sargassum Inc. produces affordable, fossil-fuel free, renewable compressed natural gas using low-cost, locally sourced organic inputs including rum industry wastewater, Sargassum seaweed and Barbados Blackbelly sheep manure.
In March 2023, the company was competitively selected to receive a €300,000 research grant from the Harnessing Innovative Technologies to Support Resilient Settlements on the Coastal Zones of the Caribbean (HIT RESET) project, for fostering climate resilient coastal communities. The grant goes in part toward implementation of a mobile app to help predict Sargassum seaweed biomass influx patterns.