Grow azolla to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, clean polluted waterways, and create regenerative animal feed, green manure, and biofuel.
The aquatic azolla fern is a wonder plant. It grows quickly on the surface of ponds and stores atmospheric carbon in its tissues; it can replace fossil fuel–intensive nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture and substitute for monoculture crops in animal feed; it can clean up heavy metals in wastewater; and it can be a regenerative source of biofuels. Azolla uniquely draws nitrogen directly from the air. When the mulched plant is introduced to soil, the nitrogen becomes available for use in agriculture or gardens. The nitrogen means azolla is packed with protein, making it a replacement for soybeans in animal feed. In rice paddies, azolla can double productivity, reduce disease-spreading mosquitoes, decrease methane emissions, and reduce water loss.