Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp., the largest provider of dredging services in the U.S. announced this week a first-of-its-kind partnership with Project Vesta, a clean technology pioneer developing a new way to use sand to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“We are committed to robustly furthering the science of coastal carbon capture,” Tom Green, CEO of Project Vesta, said in a statement announcing the agreement. “Our partnership with Great Lakes will enable us to accelerate our research and help coastal communities fight both the cause and symptoms of climate change.”

Known as “coastal carbon capture”, Project Vesta’s method accelerates the earth’s natural carbon removal process by using a natural rock turned into carbon-removing sand.

According to a report by the National Academy of Sciences, this technique has the potential to remove billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reduce ocean acidification. Its newly discovered potential has been heralded by universities and major scientific institutions, and has been highlighted in The New York Times, The Guardian, Popular Science and The Atlantic.

“This partnership will help make Great Lakes a more effective participant in the effort to address coastal erosion and climate change impacts,” said Great Lakes’ senior vice president Bill Hanson. “We are proud to raise the bar on climate-change fighting technologies and invite others in the coastal resilience industry to join this important cause.” 

Great Lakes is the first member of the global dredging industry to announce participation in Project Vesta’s initiative and represents a bold new sustainability approach. The two organizations will pursue joint research goals and develop new methods for the safe, effective use of coastal carbon capture.