“What is the Marinea Project?”
Marinea is a research project into colonizing the oceans, with the primary purpose being the expansion of livable area by creating permanent human settlements at sea. We believe that by creating more living space that it will alleviate a lot of the problems associated with global over-crowding such as food shortages, environmental problems, civil unrest and loss of freedoms.
‘Marinea’ is the first of several cities that we will be building out at sea. It will start as a village, and grow from there into a full size city with all the amenities that you would expect your town to have.
How many villages out at sea (seasteads) will there be?
Unlimited – in that growth and expansion is limited by the amount of space available in our oceans. Marinea will be the first fully functioning, sustainable village at sea. It will be expandable, reproducible, self-sustaining, and will exist in harmony with nature, where citizens will be able to live their lives as they and the local community see fit. As the population continues to grow, other ‘seasteads’ or villages at sea will be built.
How long will it take you to develop a fully functioning seastead?
The village will begin to take shape within a couple of years. A fully functioning viable community will take approximately five years.
It sounds like a haven for the elite. Is that what you are building?
Yes in a way, but not for the wealthy elite. There would be options on the seastead for all price ranges. The “elite” status would be for those who decided to take responsibility for their lives to make something better.
How many people would you expect would be living in Marinea vs. visiting (tourism)?
Early population projections are expected to be around several thousand after five years for Marinea proper, but if we are including other associated communities, that number could be very conservative. We don’t have enough information at this time to estimate the number or type of tourist that we would expect to see.
This almost sounds like a fantasy. What makes now the time to make it a reality?
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. Hunger, Poverty, Pestilence, War, Terror, Loss of Liberties, all these problems have a one clear and common cause, there are not enough resources for too many people. We are at 7 billion people on this planet and will hit 10 billion by 2050, it’s getting a little crowded already. The timing for seasteads are now because the need is now. The technological capabilities has been known for some time now.
The rumor is that individual housing will cost about the same in Marinea as it would in the states. The cost to build seems rather cheap when you consider the distance from the raw building materials. How comfortable are you with those numbers?
After time, we should actually be able to beat the prices on shore. Because one of the biggest costs on land, is the land. The ocean is free. Houses on land have to be built on site, that is not true with floating homes. They can be mass produced and shipped as a complete unit.
What or who is your competition?
One of the interesting aspects of the Marinea project is that it is based on cooperation rather than competition. We look to partner with many kinds of companies to build a synergistic, innovative environment. Certainly as a pilot project we have no direct competitors.
Are you then related to the seasteading institute?
Not related, just friends. Marinea is the very kind of project that the Seastead Institute would support but we could not accept money from them unless they could also fund every other seastead that came after us. As a pilot project, we have to develop the same way, under the same conditions, as any other seastead that developed using our model.
Where will you be getting your revenue from?
Our initial funding will come from angel investors, memberships, and individual sponsorship. Marinea will provide utilities, communications, internet and data, construction services through partnerships and subsidiaries, management, logistics, and other related services. Marinea will also own a fueling station and marina services for boaters. Marinea provides the basic services or infrastructure to make all other businesses possible. Marinea makes money from the service it provides instead of taxes.
You have chosen the Sal Bank, claimed by the Bahamas as the site of the first floating city, – Why the Bahamas?
This question has two parts, I’ll start with the Bahamian government. The Bahamas is not just an island nation but a nation of many islands, very similar to what we are building. Those islands are under threat from ocean level rising. The Bahamas need our research and we will share it with them freely. The Bahamian people are among the friendliest people on the planet and are not likely to try to interfere with the project but will likely help if asked. We find our needs and interest very similar to the Bahamas so we have decided from the start to partner with them to any degree that they like.
The second part is the area itself. The Sal Bank is an elevated area in the ocean. Most of it is less then 50 feet deep. On the east side there is a string of uninhabitable islands that act as a wave break for the area. The area is located between Cuba and Miami, the island of Cuba acts to lessen hurricane intensity and to some degree can even alter its path. Economically, with the thaw in relations between the US and Cuba, there is an expanded need for travel and trade in the area.
Do you see governmental interference from any other nation?
No, not really, there is no valid reason that exist for interference and we can’t see any motivation either. Governments are far more likely to monitor the situation for exploitation. We have a better opportunity for them built in, that is they can exploit our research with our cooperation. Only the Bahamian government has any claims to the area but as we will be floating, even those claims don’t involve us, even to the point that we don’t have to ask permission for anything we are doing. Maritime law indicates that anything beyond 24 nautical miles is open sea and any floating vessel is beyond the laws of that country.
Are there any concerns about piracy? How will you defend yourself?
Piracy is often the imposition of small amounts of force on a small or lightly populated target. In our case we will have enough resources to fully defend ourselves if the need ever arose.
How are you managing bad weather and hurricanes? What will you do when a hurricane or rogue wave comes towards Marinea?
Go inside. The only weather to be concerned about are the waves. Hurricanes can make big waves but most of their destructiveness comes from blowing debris. Out at sea, there is only water – design to protect against that and the rest is of no consequence. A semi-submersible float will be air tight, once the doors are closed. A wave could go right over top but not hurt a thing, just like a submarine. Living on a float designed for the ocean, really is safer than living on land.
A tornado on land is far more deadly and destructive than a hurricane at sea, in fact a hurricane on land is more deadly and destructive than at sea. That is not to say that hurricanes are not a problem that need not be planned for or taken seriously. However, with a few precautionary step, even a bad hurricane can be dealt with. Let’s compare a tornado on land to hurricanes at sea.
What can you do to save your house against each? On land, nothing. You write off the house to save the family in a pre-dug storm cellar. In other words, you go below ground. Submarines never even know there is a storm on the surface unless someone tells them so. Barges could be made to drop further into the water or under it all together to avoid the winds but that is mostly likely over kill since boats and barges are also mobile and can sail out away from the beast. Hurricanes are known of days ahead of time. What warning do you have on land for a tornado? Not much.
In addition, the water makes a type of a barrier over itself with air that is heavily ladened with moisture. Rather than try to move the heavy air at the surface, the winds prefer to travel over top of that saturated air. The winds of a hurricane is not really the problem. The real problem is the waves that build up because of the energy of the winds.
Okay, so what do we do about large waves?
Pre-planning where we build our village is one of the first steps. Small boats stay in the shallow areas because a big wave is not likely there. It takes a lot of water to make a really big wave and that water has to come from somewhere. If you are on a large shallow bank, the waves will be less in size and intensity. It’s not that a big tidal wave is impossible but it would have to bring a lot of water with it.
This leads to the second precaution, wave breakers. Land banks just under the surface of the ocean usually are surrounded by an island or islands. The islands don’t have to be really big but the bigger they are, the harder it will be for large waves to just roll over them. It’s easier for the energy in the wave to go around the islands but that takes away some of the wave size.
For example, on the Sal bank where we intend to create our first village, there was a very large hurricane, the one that took out the east side of Porto Rico. That storm made waves of 16 to 20 feet in the deeper parts of the ocean a couple of miles away from our intended village. At the same time, the wave height on the Sal bank was 5 to 7 feet and even less. The bigger the boat, the less bounce you will get at those wave heights. A barge anchored well, should have no problem with 5 foot waves.
In addition to natures wave inhibitors, we will also build some of our own to further reduce the wave size and energy levels. Even with all of that, for larger waves, if we make the living quarters water tight, like in the hold of a barge, the waves can pass right over the deck and not hurt a thing.
Proper planning and preparations will lessen the effect of just about any emergency.
Why do you say that the ocean is the safest place to be in case of a nuclear war, is there any safe place in that type of war?
Any nuclear war will take out our supply link to land products but at sea, it is survivable. How do the nuclear energy people protect themselves from the radiation that comes with nuclear fission? They keep the nuclear rods in water. Water is the best screen for radiation that we know of. A submarine could not only survive nuclear fall out but they may not even know something has occurred until they surfaced.
If fall out seems to be a problem that we will need to deal with, we will simply build under water structures. No one wants to live in a confined space under water but we do have the capabilities should it come down to that.
What is the smallest size of boat that you would recommend for seasteading?
For a single person, a 35 foot should surface. You will experience a lot more bounce from the waves but it should be able to handle most storms without damage. That said, bigger is better.
For a couple, you will need at least 40ft of space, both being a live-a-board motor vessel. If you are using a sail boat, you can add 50% to the lengths. Sailboats are sturdy and will right themselves if flipped but they have limited space inside.
Barge condos or apartments should be safer still because of their size and steal or cement construction.
How will we get fresh produce and other food?
In phase two we will set up a general store where villagers and those passing through will be able to replenish their supplies. Villagers will be able to order special things that they will need through the general store and it will be shipped out along with the regular store products. Along with the general store we will have a supply boat that will make regular runs to the mainland and Cuba to restock our provisions, carry passengers and the mail.
By phase three however, we expect there to be barges that will raise hydroponic fruits and vegetables on site that the general store can purchase for resale to the general public. Passengers would soon have the option of air transportation to the sea village. There are a couple of options for seaplanes to service the area but we hope that private enterprises will see the need and supply the air service. Private enterprise would also raise the food and take care of the maintenance such as running a portable dry-dock.
Likewise we will begin phase two with a fuel barge and have fuel delivered by supply ship until our own production of algae and the ability to refine it into fuel can take over supplying fuel for local needs. Fish and sea food should be available from local farmers early on and will be purchased locally for the restaurant. As much as it is possible, we will purchase locally from our own citizens before having the products shipped in.
Can anybody go out to Marinea and begin whatever business they choose?
Pretty much, yes. So long as the business does not infringe on the rights and safety of others or dump toxins into the water, no one will have anything to say.
What about gambling, sex or drugs?
So long as the business does not infringe on the rights and safety of others or dump toxins into the water, no one will have anything to say. Men and women have complete authority over their own bodies and it is not the place of any government to usurp that authority. This also means that pimps will not be able to own others. No one may be forced into employment or barred from it by anyone else.
What about businesses competing with existing Marinea core businesses?
So long as the business does not infringe on the rights and safety of others or dump toxins into the water, no one will have anything to say.
Why a Libertarian style government?
Definition of Libertarianism;
1. an extreme laissez-faire political philosophy advocating only minimal state intervention in the lives of citizens.
Since we do not know what laws will be needed in the future or at sea, we want to start with the smallest foot print necessary for any kind of government. Libertarianism is not only the smallest and least intrusive type of government but it also recognizes the sovereignty of the individual as the highest good. To make laws forcing others to think and act as we do is to take away their liberty. This we believe is the greatest evil that anyone can do. Steeling from someone hurts that someone but the loss can be amended. Steeling part of someones life and freedom can not be easily amended therefore it is a greater evil than theft. The rights of the individual takes precedence over the rights of the government, not the other way around as it is in the U.S.
Will the village have a president and vice president chosen by the people?
Yes, with one small change. We think it is ridiculous to put someone with no experience in charge of any country as is done frequently in the U.S. Instead we will elect only the vice president who will serve four years then become president for another four years then out or stay on as first adviser, depending on the will of the people when setting up the government.
How much capitol is needed before you can actually begin the colony?
We can get started with 10 million so long as more revenues are forth coming. 15 million is a better target as that amount will help us get supplies to begin with and set the project on a firmer foundation. This includes the cost of the barge that will function as the town center of our first village-at-sea.
Seasteading has been in the news recently with some stating that it will cost billions of dollars and can’t be done in today’s business climate, but we disagree. There will no doubt come a day when a city is built at sea that would cost billions, but we think it better to start small and build over time. Society has come to call any intentional mariner community, beyond the 24 mile continuous zone waters from any nation, as a seastead regardless of its size.</p
Your project description said that you need three sources of capitol. Do you have to have all three before starting?
No, we don’t have to use any of them if a fourth supply of initial funding is available. We just identified three possible sources for the initial funding. Naturally the easiest would be to team up with a wealthy individual or individuals that could have a vested interest in the project. They may expect a financial profit from the village and we can certainly provide that. Some may not be concerned with the return on investment but would rather have a memorial for their contribution, we can do that as well.
The second option (becoming a non-profit and soliciting contributions) would exist if a qualified and experienced fund raiser joined with us. They usually want a percentage of the monies raised. Naturally we believe that workers should be compensated for their efforts and we will sit down to negotiate any terms demanded.
The third possibility that we are aware of is the sell of stocks. We would need to have a securities expert working with the project so that we are not crossing any securities barriers unwittingly. We don’t like big government for the same reason we don’t like living with gorillas, they don’t have to be particularly evil to hurt you. But just because we don’t like them, there is no good reason to taunt them. With a small libertarian form of government, any company registered with the records office can sell shares of their own stock to whomever they chose. We will not inhibit new ways of doing things.
We are open to all ideas but what we need right now is someone that is professional in one of those three areas. To do that, we need to get our information into a lot of hands, that is where you can help. Do you know anyone that could help us get started? Just ask them to check out our website and consider helping us to get launched. Corporations may wish to sponsor us as well. BP refines and sells oil. They don’t necessarily want to take it out of the ground and have oil spills. Farm raised algae can do the same job without contaminating the water and it will remove carbon from the air in the processes. Why wouldn’t a corporation want to help the Marinea Project to get into the water? We like the BP/Marinea Project, because we really like win/win scenarios.
What about law enforcement, education and sporting events?
Left off of the new informational web page, these questions have been thought out and in the plans but they are not part of the core. We hope to dominate the swimming and diving events where we can participate and entertainment like boat and jet-ski races will no doubt play a part. However, these types of events would best be handled by private concerns and will be supported by the people, not the government or the Marinea Project.
Education is offered on the internet with much better facilities than we could offer locally. What is more, on line education allows the education to continue even if the students move. Land based schools are having problems competing with those on line abilities, there is little reason for us to emulate them.
Law enforcement will be private to start with. When the government took over policing, it became brutal. We don’t want the government to be able to readily use force so the courts will be part of the infrastructure but the enforcement will be private if possible. That said, Crime, punishments, and the expectations of residents will be defined by the community itself. We are not in the business of defining the expectations of the community; the community will regulate itself.
We have grouped these three question together because they are examples of things better accomplished by private enterprise than run by governments. In the US, when private schools were available, students got a better education. Teachers didn’t have to put up with troubled students because the student realized that if he didn’t work, he wouldn’t be admitted. With something to lose, the students tried harder and the US had the best education anywhere. We want the best for our children and right now, the best is private.
What are some of the benefits to ocean living?
Why do people go to beach resorts? Because the environment is perfect for relaxation and a laid back lifestyle. From sailing, fishing, scuba diving, to cafes and restaurants – this will become your lifestyle and not just a vacation. You can forget about floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, snow and ice, and there will be no biting insects or pollen. You’ll have nice fresh clean air to breathe. And in the long term, if you don’t like the view, simply move your home to a new location.
What opportunities do you see down the road for industries other than tourism and real estate?
Opportunities in Marinea are only limited by the lack of imagination. I see fish farming as one of the major industries but medical research and treatments not authorized in the authoritarian type countries, would fit well also. Plenty of opportunities for local entertainment, where tourist would be a bonus. But the best opportunities are the ones we can’t see. Maybe someone will invent a system for removing gold from the ocean water, who knows. A new way of living will introduce new industries, some never before imagined.
How will people get to Marinea?
At first by privately owned boats. Then we will establish a ferry service that would also carry cargo to and from Marinea. Later on, we will add air service for passengers and express cargo.
Last year you wrote to everyone that the Marinea Project was on hold, what is it now?
Progress was hinged upon publicity that never emerged so the funding never emerged with it. Since the staff and volunteers had reach a point where there was nothing left to do on the plan until the initial funding was realized, the project itself was on hold. We changed the web page to be informational only and began working on exposure and funding. We are at that point now where we will begin sending out invitations to wealthy individuals and businesses seeking their support, and to media sources seeking their assistance in reaching out to the general public.