Inside Passage Decarbonization Project Winter and Spring Update

As the end of its first year approaches, it is time to share what the Inside Passage Decarbonization Project (IPDP) did over the past Winter and early Spring. We have been primarily focused on – exchanging ideas through listening and learning, connecting with potential leaders, and gaining local knowledge about current activity and interests.

First, I kicked off January as the first speaker at Quadra Island’s unique “U of Q” (University of Quadra) winter series class at the venerable 130-year-old Heriot Bay Inn.  My presentation featured the IPDP's goals and plans to motivate leaders who are interested to facilitating local and regional marine decarbonization. Over 40 people attended the talk with questions keeping me on my toes well over the one-hour lecture. I fielded invitations the next day to sit down individually with four local individuals interested in change, from transitioning their boat fuel and lubricants, planning propulsion for an old vessel being renovated, a brand new steel cruising sailboat, and helping to plan the possible installation of the first new biofuel pump as part of the renovations at the Heriot Bay fuel docksSecond, the presentation at Vancouver Island University in February, as part of the Clean Waterways Through Alternative Energy Summit, organized by IPDP’s and ex-Canadian Coast Guard’s and Oceans & Fisheries’ Howard Matwick (more on Howard in a future blog) and our co-presenters, Dylan Smith of the Cowichan Energy Alternatives Society and Brian Roberts from the Cowichan Biodiesel Co-op. The co-op has an active biodiesel station set up for a fraction of the cost of new fueling stations by recycling “dump pumps” that can be retrofitted as "smart pumps" with custom blending that serve co-op members who fuel themselves, with payment & receipts easily managed online. The opportunities to learn and share resources were immediate and while it may still be a hike to get to the only biodiesel pump on Vancouver Island from the boat docks, it is available now!  The Cowichan folks would very much like to add a marine renewable fuel dock in the future.

Third, we held the first annual 2018 IPDP Solutions Summit in Port Hardy in early March. The all-day open house event allowed for valuable one-on-one time with a port counselor, First Nation leader, boatbuilder, and other individuals who care deeply and are exploring the most suitable local options to decarbonize the Inside Passage. This event deserves its own blog entry soon.

Fourth and finally, I was part of Port Angeles, Washington’s annual Celebration of Science & Technology in April on the City Pier next to the Fiero Marine Life Center, at the edge of the incredible Salish Sea Strait of Juan de Fuca.  In addition to the scientists surrounding me as presenters, a stream of young people interested in scientific solutions took in the IPDP ideas and were anxious to learn and share more.  

While all this was going on, I had meetings or conversations seeking strategic advice and potential partnerships with the Sightline Institute from Seattle, GoodFuels out of the Netherlands, Australian cellulosic Renewable diesel pioneer Licella and their Canadian partner, Canfor, and with an amazing group of five engineering and physics professors interested in the project from five leading NW universities. Hopefully, this is just the start with all these groups.   

Upcoming, AMA Natura will be part of Greentech Marine’s annual conference in Vancouver, BC where I also be meeting with Greenpeace at their founding location.


Peter with his new battery-powered biodiesel pump

Peter with his new battery-powered biodiesel pump