ABO Membership Drive: Discounts Available Now!

October, 1 / 2018

ABO’s Fall Membership Drive is underway and we are offering great discounts for new and existing members that want to be part of the algae revolution!

Help us recruit new members and get:

— Discounts on your Corporate or Individual membership rate

— Discounts for any new members you bring to ABO

Here are the details:

Corporate Level Members:

  • Existing corporate level members will receive a 20% discount on their 2019 membership for signing up new corporate level members.*
  • Each new corporate member you recruit will also receive a 20% discount on their 2019 membership.

Individual Level Members:

  • Existing individual level members will receive a 20% discount on their 2019 membership for signing up new individual level members.*
  • Each new individual member you recruit will receive a 50% discount on their 2019 membership.

Start Recruiting Now! Offer Expires on November 15th, 2018

Ready to sign up a new member?

Contact ABO’s Barb Scheevel today at 877.531.5512 ext. 1, or email her at bscheevel@algaebiomass.org

New members do not need to be coming in at the same level as the current member. The new member must complete payment by November 15, 2018. Following payment by the new member, the recruiting member will be invoiced for membership at the 20% discounted rate. Payment must be completed by December 31, 2018.

*Each new member will receive the new member discount. Recruiting members will only receive a single discount to their membership rate.

Congressional Algae Caucus Calls on Farm Bill Leaders to Support Algae Agriculture Provisions

September, 25 / 2018

In a letter to Farm Bill negotiators Friday, Congressional Algae Caucus Co-chairs Scott Peters of California and Darin LaHood of Illinois urged inclusion of key algae agriculture provisions in any compromise Farm Bill package. The letter is the latest indication of mounting support in Congress for an increased role for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in growing the algae agriculture sector.

Negotiators have been meeting this month to iron out differences between House and Senate versions of a Farm Bill package that would set farm policy and spending levels for the next five years. (The current Farm Bill is set to expire Sept 30th.) Among the items to be negotiated is the fate of several key policy proposals to ensure existing USDA programs fully support algae agriculture. The proposals were first introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators in H.R. 5373, the Algae Agriculture Act of 2018. One of the proposals (establishing a USDA algae research program) was included in the House version of the bill. Another (eliminating a restriction on algae in a crop assistance program) made the Senate bill. Friday’s letter calls for inclusion of these and two key additional provisions:

  1. Algae Research Initiative – Proposed in the Cornyn-Udall Senate floor amendment SA 3205, but not brought to a vote, the SA 3205 language improves on the Algae Agriculture Research Program language that was included in section 7208 of the House-passed bill (via Dunn Amendment #6 during markup) by providing specific research priorities and necessary authorization. SA 3205 should be included in the conference report.
  2. Crop Assistance for Algae – The absence of an established crop insurance program for algae production has been reported as the single greatest barrier to the establishment of new algae farms and the expansion of existing farms. Section 9 of House bill H.R. 5373, the Algae Agriculture Act, includes two key, no-cost provisions that would begin to pave the way for algae crop insurance. Modeled on provisions included on a bipartisan basis in the 2014 Farm Bill to lay the groundwork for crop insurance for sorghum, H.R. 5373 authorizes a study on development of crop insurance for algae and study adds explicit eligibility for algae under the Noninsured Crop Assistance Program. Section 9 of H.R. 5373 should be included in the conference report.
  3. Elimination of Algae BCAP Exclusion – Algae is inexplicably excluded from Collection, Harvest, Storage and Transportation (CHST) payments under the Title IX Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). This exclusion is eliminated under section 9110 of the Senate-passed bill. Section 9110 of the Senate-passed bill should be included in the conference report.
  4. Recycled Carbon Fixes – Definitional changes are needed to ensure eligibility of carbon-recycled products made with algae and other biological Carbon Capture and Use (CCU), as outlined in section 8 of the H.R. 5373, the Algae Agriculture Act. The Bennet-Whitehouse Senate floor amendment SA 3342 – based on H.R. 6457, the Carbon Utilization Act – proposed to include these vital, no-cost fixes, but the amendment was not included in the final bill. SA 3342 should be included in the conference report.

With the September 30 deadline fast approaching, there is now growing discussion of a possible short-term extension of the current Farm Bill to give negotiators additional time to come to agreement, but ABO is continuing to work with algae advocates on Capitol Hill to ensure the best possible outcome for the industry. Be sure to contact your representatives in Congress and tell them to support algae agriculture in the Farm Bill by fighting for these important provisions.

ABO Secures $44 million for Algae, Carbon Utilization Research in FY 2019

September, 24 / 2018

Following close on the heels of the U.S. Department of Energy’s latest round of algae funding awards, President Trump Friday signed into law a Fiscal Year 2019 spending bill providing an additional $44 million in FY2019 for algae and carbon utilization research — the highest funding level for algae research since the 2009 Recovery Act. The funding includes $32 million for the Advanced Algal Systems program under DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and $12 million for the Carbon Use and Reuse program under DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy. Both are increases of $2 million over FY2018 levels. 

The continued growth in federal algae funding is a testimony to the effectiveness of ABO’s ongoing work to educate policy makers on the promise of algae as a platform for carbon mitigation and sustainable production of everything from food and feed to biofuels and biomaterials; to the growing influence of the Congressional Algae Caucus, under the leadership of  Representatives Scott Peters of California, Darin LaHood of Illinois, Derek Kilmer of Washington, and Andy Biggs of Arizona; and to our Senate champions, including Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. Thank you to all of our Champions of Algae!

Department of Energy Awards $17 Million to Algae Carbon Capture and Use, Other Algae Projects

September, 4 / 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (DOE/BETO) selected eight algae projects for nearly $17 million in funding among 36 Bioenergy R&D awards issued today. The awards are the latest installment of funding under BETO’s Advanced Algal Systems program, which was established in 2016 in response to ABO’s successful effort to secure strong, sustained funding for algae research in the annual federal budget process. Congratulations to ABO organizational members AzCATI, Global Algae Innovations, LanzaTech and MicroBio Engineering, as well as our ABO individual member awardees. Thank you DOE/BETO for your continued investment.

Funding Opportunity: Algae Production Systems SBIR

August, 29 / 2018

The USDA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, a competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D), has opened a new opportunity that could support algae production systems. 

The SBIR Aquaculture topic area funds research projects that can improve the production efficiency and competitiveness of private sector, commercial aquaculture in the United States. Under the topic area, algae is listed as a qualifying technology.

Novel or innovative approaches to improve the efficiency of algal production and feedstock logistics including: identification of new (or improved) species with improved nutritional profile for use in aquaculture feed, human food, or food supplements; development of improved bioreactor technology; and development of new methods for harvesting algal biomass.

Phase I awards will be up to $100,000. Applications are due October 25.

Visit the SBIR site for more information. 

Put Algae in the Farm Bill!

August, 29 / 2018

This year Congress is debating a new Farm Bill, legislation that for years has supported agricultural industries, rural communities, and the American foods supply. 

Algae are fast becoming a significant component in food and health products, and it is time that this new crop was afforded the support by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that other crops have seen for decades.

Thanks to outreach by ABO and its members, a number of provisions are being considered in the new Farm Bill that could dramatically accelerate algae farming in the U.S., bringing economic benefits to rural areas and sustainable solutions to the world: 

1. Algae Research Initiative – Included in section 7208 of the House-passed bill, would establish for the first time an Algae Agriculture R&D program at USDA to complement existing work at the Department of Energy.  A Senate floor amendment (SA 3205) further strengthening the House provision was introduced by Senators Cornyn and Udall but not included in the final Senate bill. Urge your representatives in Congress to include Senate Amendment 3205 in the final Farm Bill package.

2.  Crop Assistance for Algae – The absence of an established crop insurance program for algae production may be the single greatest barrier to the establishment of new algae farms and the expansion of existing farms. Section 9 of H.R. 5373, the Algae Agriculture Act, includes two key, no-cost provisions that would begin to pave the way for algae crop insurance. Section 9 of H.R. 5373 should be included in the final Farm Bill package.

3.  Elimination of Algae BCAP Exclusion – Algae is excluded from Collection, Harvest, Storage and Transportation (CHST) payments under the Title IX Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). This exclusion is eliminated under section 9110 of the Senate-passed bill. Section 9110 of the Senate-passed bill should be included in the conference report.

4.  Recycled Carbon Provisions – The Senate-passed bill includes important provisions in support of algae and other Carbon Capture and Use (CCU) applications in rural America. Several additional definitional changes outlined in section 8 of H.R. 5373, the Algae Agriculture Act, and the Bennet-Whitehouse Senate floor amendment SA 3342 are also needed to ensure eligibility of recycled-carbon products. SA 3342 and Sections 7409, 9103, and 9113 of the Senate-passed bill should be included in the conference report.

Help us get algae into the Farm Bill! Contact your representatives today and tell them to support these four key asks.

These provisions are being discussed now, so be sure to make your voice heard soon!

Find your House representative’s phone numbers here.

Find your Senators’ phone numbers here.

Find their Twitter handle here.

Find their Facebook page here.


Ana Feeds our World by 2040, Making the Case for Algae in Food

August, 29 / 2018

ABO members are invited to get their free copy of a new book that makes the case for algae as a solution to intractable problems in the global food supply chain.

This will be an invaluable resource for business leaders that need to reach new audiences that are often unfamiliar with the role algae can play in countless markets.

In Ana Feeds our World by 2040 Dr. Mark Edwards, a professor at Arizona State University and expert on communicating the potential of algae, describes the adoption and diffusion of sustainable, healthy and affordable algae-based food for plants, animals and people.

The book shares how the lowest plant on the food chain creates a food renaissance with foods that are superior in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds. These foods are also substantially more sustainable, productive and affordable than industrial foods.

Ana describes novel solutions for critical issues facing modern agriculture; protein shortages, cropland allocations, water supplies, energy, fertilizer, pesticides, pollution and climate chaos.

Dr. Edwards will be publishing excerpts of his new book on his blog, but ABO members can download their own, full-color PDF copy by logging into their ABO account at www.algaebiomass.org and navigating to the Member Resources page.


In Memoriam: Dr. Mark Hildebrand

August, 24 / 2018

ABO was saddened this month by the passing of marine biologist Dr. Mark Hildebrand, the leader of one of the United States’ top centers for algal biofuel research. He was 59. 

Hildebrand was director of the Marine Biology Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, and was also a founding member of the California Center for Algae Biotechnology. 

Early in his career Hildebrand became a pioneer of advanced molecular biology approaches related to the study of diatoms, tiny algae known for their silica-based cell walls. His research opened new avenues for the study of diatoms as producers of valuable lipids, the same oils that can be used to make biofuels and a range of other useful products. 

He was a fixture at national meetings of research leaders, and a mentor to countless students devoting their own studies to understanding algal biology and its potential to address global challenges. 

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technology Office ranked his program as the top in the country for algal biofuels research. 

He will be missed by the entire ABO membership. 

Scripps has posted more information about Mark’s incredible contributions here. 

More Support for Carbon Utilization in Congress

July, 26 / 2018

This month the momentum for supporting technologies that put carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to good use got a boost in Congress with the introduction of the bipartisan Carbon Utilization Act of 2018. The House bill would support utilization technologies, such as algae cultivation, by allowing them to qualify for support through (USDA) loan guarantees, rural development loans, and research programs.

The legislation was introduced by U.S. Congressmen Scott Peters (CA-52) and David Young (IA-3), and has a complement in the Senate that was introduced by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). All four of these elected officials hail from states that are home to several ABO members and robust algae cultivation operations. 

If passed, the new policy would lead to “increased biogas production as part of a diverse mix of energy sources, from natural gas to nuclear, to wind and solar, and even algae, to meet our future energy needs,” said Rep. Peters.

ABO has worked closely with its membership and Congressional leaders to build support for new technology development policies that can accelerate the role algae could play in energy, agriculture and other industries.

“Algae and other emerging technologies are transforming carbon emissions from [an] environmental challenge to economic opportunity. The Carbon Utilization Act recognizes the important role USDA can and must play in supporting farmers, small businesses, and rural utilities in the deployment of carbon capture and use and the development of value-added products from recycled carbon. ABO thanks Congressmen Peters and Young for their leadership in this important work,” said Matt Carr, Executive Director of Algae Biomass Organization.

Read more in this press release. 

Give Your Garden A Boost With Seaweed

July, 26 / 2018

This helpful article on the sustainable living website eartheasy.com touts the benefits of gardening with seaweed. Mulching with seaweed collected at the beach saves water, enriches soil, repels pests, and boosts productivity, according to founder Greg Seaman.

“Seaweed will benefit your garden any time of year, but it is especially useful as a mulch to protect plants during hot, dry weather. In our garden, we’ve come to rely on seaweed as a valuable, yet free, source of fertilizer, mulch and organic pest control all in one natural material.”

Among other tips, Seaman suggests using small, broken-up seaweed gathered a few yards inland from the water’s edge. Once home, apply a 4-inch-thick layer on top of the soil in place of conventional mulch.

Greg isn’t alone. Chris Hull at Organic Authority makes a similar case in this article, adding that natural seaweed has 60 trace minerals and ready-to-use nutrients including nitrogen, potassium, phosphate, and magnesium.