Bruce Conkle - Floating Forests - Eco-Tanker

Imagine you are in an old growth forest, the trees gently creaking in the breeze. As you walk through the tall trees you catch a view of the ocean, and you notice the horizon gently swaying up and down. The basic premise of the Floating Forest project is to take the world's largest ocean going vessels, oil supertankers, cover them with a few feet of top soil, and plant them with trees. For propulsion, several massive sails would be mounted on deck to create giant wind powered ships. Drinking water would be made by desalinizing sea water which is then stored in large quantities in the repurposed tanks. This conversion into sustainable "eco-tankers" would enable these retrofitted ships to be used for carbon sequestration, food production, and water filtration and storage. Crops, orchards and forests could be grown on these hulking ships by resident arborists, horticulturists, beekeepers and others, then sailed near cities for harvesting and delivering produce and/or lumber.

I envision a future with armadas of these sailing agricultural behemoths. Highly adaptable to temperature fluctuations, rising sea levels and changing precipitation patterns, such a fleet would be versatile and have a wide variety applications. For example, some could be moored off the coast of Florida which could be used to grow citrus orchards. In this case, rising sea levels or salinity in the soil may soon render the low lying land unsuitable for fruit trees. With the eco-tankers, such adverse conditions would not necessitate all the knowledgeable farmers in the region to pack their bags and leave, or to not be able to use their vast stores of information, but they would be able to commute from home on land to the offshore groves to tend to the trees. Other tankers could be designed to offer relief to areas stricken by natural disasters around the globe. Medical crews could be stationed on board the tankers which would be delivering huge amounts of fresh water as well as fresh food, and the large size of the vessel could facilitate or aid with rebuilding materials and crews or evacuations if needed.

Bruce Conkle

Bruce Conkle - Floating Forest - Eco-Tankers