The Index Project
Index Award 2017 Winners
Greenwave
Vertical ocean farms that can feed us and help our seas

GreenWave is a revolutionary ocean farming system designed to restore ocean ecosystems, mitigate climate change, and create jobs for fishermen – while providing healthy, local food for communities.

Requiring zero input, GreenWave farms are designed to have an extremely negative carbon footprint - and an extremely positive impact on local and global waters. The farms are designed to be easily scalable and each new farm requires a minimal initial skill set and low capital costs.

At the heart of GreenWave’s farming system are differently shaped nets, mussel “socks”, and oyster cages for farming shellfish and seaweed. Each net houses different species and floats at different depths - and the entire structures are anchored to the ocean floor, making it hurricane proof. Each species in the farm is carefully selected to address a certain environmental challenge. Such as oysters that can balance nitrogen level through a natural filtration process, and fast-growing seaweed that can soak up five times more carbon dioxide than land-based plants.

GreenWave’s design is shared on an open source basis with fishermen who produce food, biofuel, fertilizer, animal feed, and cosmetics from their crops. GreenWave also provides its new farmers with grants, low-cost seed, free outdoor gear, and training for two years. They also promise to purchase 80% of new farmers’ crops over five years - at triple the market rate! The crops are then sold to restaurants around the country.

“We can make sure that farms are actually part of the solution to the climate crisis,” says creator Bren Smith.

"We’re hoping to weave new principles into the DNA of the industry, this is our chance to do food right, this is our chance to do agriculture right."

GreenWave proves that anyone can apply design thinking to create a better world. These restorative hatcheries, seafood hubs, and online resources create a foundation for emerging blue-green economies and provide a land-based infrastructure necessary to ensure sustainable growth for new ocean farmers. And just as importantly, the revolutionary system allows communities to actively take part in mitigating climate change. GreenWave is a stunningly simple design, and if implemented at scale, will have an enormous impact.

GREENWAVE - 2017 WORK WINNER from INDEX: Design to Improve Life® on Vimeo.