Making Brownfields Blue: Catalyzing Sustainable Investment in the Ocean Economy with Rigs-to-Reefs
Offshore energy development has led to the installation of thousands of offshore structures in the world’s oceans, including about 1400 in Asia, most of which will be decommissioned in the near future. Many of these platforms are home to some of the most productive ecosystems on the planet, making decommissioning via removal and on-shore disposal environmentally detrimental, and needlessly expensive. Repurposing offshore energy infrastructure through a Rigs to Reefs (RtR) program is a replicable and scalable solution which can catalyze sustainable ocean resource development. With more than 500 structures converted during the last 30 years, RtR is a proven circular economy approach which helps maintain the value of ecosystem services and redefine industrial growth while providing a platform for new industries such as offshore wind, marine aquaculture, and ecotourism.