Emily Hazelwood
Emily in the field Author: Miguel Bogaert

Emily Hazelwood

MI’14 – Conservationist

Hope under offshore rigs

meet emily

Emily Hazelwood is a marine conservation biologist working to solve the ecological challenges associated with repurposing offshore oil and gas platforms as artificial reefs through the rigs to reefs program. Emily’s research is based in creative thinking committed to changing the way society thinks about conserving ocean resources. Emily’s work stretches from the sea surface, using stereo-video technology to examine marine abundance on offshore oil platforms, to using remote-operated vehicles to study the biodiversity found on pipelines 5,000-feet deep. She is a co-founder of Blue Latitudes and co-president of The Blue Latitudes Foundation.

Hope under offshore rigs
Nominated by: Nancy Nenow MN'04 Amber Sparks MN'14
Class of 2022 Location USA
Emily and Amber
Emily and Amber Author: Joe Platko

My work disseminating scientific research to the public has helped me to develop an intrinsic understanding of the need to unite traditionally opposed stakeholder groups, such as environmentalists and energy companies, to work together to find innovative solutions for ocean management and win-win strategies that benefit both groups. Extending the Rigs to Reefs idea and applying it to other industries, such as offshore wind, is challenging and thought provoking and may ultimately create a healthier blue planet.

There are thousands of offshore platforms found in almost every ocean around the world, and most are planned to be completely removed in the coming years. Complete removal is costly and environmentally taxing, especially when you consider the marine habitats supported by these structures. While not every platform is a good candidate for a reef, many are, and there is a need for alternative decommissioning options. To address this need, I co-founded Blue Latitudes LLC, a marine environmental consulting firm.

“With our success, we believe that there is hope for our oceans. They are powerful, resilient and inextricably entwined with our very existence.”

- Emily Hazelwood
Emily and her co-founder, Amber
Emily and her co-founder, Amber Author: Blue Latitudes

Some of the world’s most productive ecosystems have unexpectedly been thriving beneath the towering offshore oil and gas platforms that have come to represent the pinnacle of that exploitation. Blue Latitudes offers solutions to the oil and gas industry that previously were not thought to be possible and because of that, the company has thrived. Most recently, Blue Latitudes was awarded a five-million dollar National Science Foundation grant to accelerate convergence between offshore energy industry stakeholders and fisheries stakeholders with the goal of driving adaptive stewardship of fisheries habitat in a dynamic blue economy.

Blue Latitudes is unique in that it is a women-owned company delivering services in a male-dominated industry. With our success, we believe that there is hope for our oceans. They are powerful, resilient and inextricably entwined with our very existence.

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