Earthshot Prize Living Seawalls

Sydney Institute of Marine Science

Prince William announces Living Seawalls as a Finalist in the inaugural year of the £50 million Earthshot Prize

  • Team of Australian marine scientists recognised by Prince William and the Royal Foundation for innovative and replicable seawall panels bringing marine life back to coastal sea defences.

  • Created by Prince William and The Royal Foundation, The Earthshot Prize has led an unprecedented global search for the most inspiring and innovative solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing the planet.

  • Living Seawalls, a flagship project of the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, has been selected as one of the Earthshot game changers. One of only three finalists in the Reviving Our Oceans Earthshot category.

  • Led by a team of scientists from Macquarie University, UNSW Sydney, and SIMS, with industrial design expertise from Reef Design Lab, Melbourne.

The Earthshot Prize is the most ambitious and prestigious of its kind – designed to incentivise change and help to repair our planet over the next ten years. Created by Prince William and The Royal Foundation, The Earthshot Prize has led an unprecedented global search for the most inspiring and innovative solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing the planet.

750 nominations were received across every continent and from a rigorous selection process lasting 10 months, 15 inaugural Finalists – from 14 countries – have been selected by an Expert Advisory Panel. The Finalist’s solutions were assessed on their potential to create game-changing impact around the world, their ability to help reach the Earthshot goals while also positively impacting people, communities and the natural world.

The Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) is thrilled to announce that Living Seawalls, a flagship SIMS project, has been selected as one of the game changers. One of only three finalists in the Reviving Our Oceans Earthshot category, Living Seawalls is

a project that lies at the intersection of ecology, design and engineering.

Led by a dynamic, all-female team of scientists from Macquarie University, UNSW Sydney, and SIMS, with industrial design expertise from Reef Design Lab, Melbourne,

Living Seawalls is a fabulous example of how science is translated into action to repair our planet.

“Australia is home to some of the most diverse and unique marine life in the world, but is also facing some of the greatest impacts of climate change. By thinking beyond the box on ocean conservation, Living Seawalls is revolutionising the way we build in our oceans. We are creating a global blueprint where sea defences are designed with both humans and nature in mind. In doing so, we can build defences against rising sea levels that also support and protect vulnerable marine life. We’re delighted to be recognised by The Earthshot Prize and can’t wait to come together and discuss all the other pioneering solutions to protect our planet”, said Dr Maria Vozzo, Sydney Institute of Marine Science.

Prince William said: “Over half a century ago, President Kennedy’s ‘Moonshot’ programme united millions of people around the goal of reaching the moon. Inspired by this, The Earthshot Prize aims to mobilise collective action around our unique ability to innovate, problem solve and repair our planet. “I am honoured to introduce the 15 innovators, leaders, and visionaries who are the first ever Finalists for The Earthshot Prize. They are working with the urgency required in this decisive decade for life on Earth and will inspire all of us with their optimism in our ability to rise to the greatest challenges in human history.”

Five of the 15 Finalists announced today will be awarded The Earthshot Prize and will win £1million in Prize funding for the best solutions of the five Earthshot goals: Protect and Restore Nature; Clean our Air; Revive our Oceans; Build a Waste-free World; and Fix our Climate.

The winners will be selected by The Earthshot Prize Council, a diverse team of influential individuals which includes: HRH Prince William, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Sir David Attenborough, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Indra Nooyi, Shakira Mebarak, Christiana Figueres, Luisa Neubauer, Cate Blanchett, Yao Ming, Daniel Alves Da Silva, Ernest Gibson, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Jack Ma, and Naoko Yamazaki.

In the run-up to the awards ceremony on 17 October, BBC One and BBC iPlayer and Discovery will release a 5-part documentary series EARTHSHOT, featuring the Finalists of The Earthshot Prize and a group of Earthshot Prize Council Members including Prince William and Sir David Attenborough. This landmark series will highlight the inspiring story of Living Seawalls and other finalists.

The Prize is an urgent call to action to the world and aims to turn the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism, by championing inspiring leadership and helping to scale incredible cutting-edge solutions. It will discover 50 winners over 10 years with the power to repair the planet.

Living Seawalls is honoured to be an Earthshot finalist. The prize offers enormous global potential to increase the environmental, and social worth of coastal structures by designing with nature in mind.

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