Have you seen the beautiful tiles fitted to local seawalls? They’re part of the Living Seawalls environmental initiative that’s taking the world by storm and even coming to the attention of royalty.

When royalty singles out something in the local area, you know it must be a very big deal. Recently Prince William announced the ‘Living Seawalls’ Project by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science in Chowder Bay (SIMS) as one of three global finalists in what is being called “the most prestigious environmental prize in history” – the Earthshot Prize.

They dynamic all-female team of scientists at SIMS retrofit existing seawalls with habitat enhancing units (the pretty tiles you see in these images) that can improve the ecological performance of artificial structures. Scientific research in Sydney Harbour has shown that after 1-2 years, Living Seawalls already support at least 36% more species than plain, unmodified seawalls, with as many as 85 species of invertebrates, seaweeds and fish living and growing on the panels.

Locations in Sydney include Clontarf, Fairlight, Sawmillers Reserve in McMahons Point, Milsons Point, Rushcutters Bay, Barangaroo and Balmain. The project has been so successful that it can now also lay claim to installations in South Australia, Queensland, Singapore and Wales. Now the wonderful work is being recognised around the world as well.

Image: Sydney Institute of Marine Science

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. It’s centred around five ‘Earthshots’ – simple but ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for us all, for generations to come. Living Seawalls has been selected in the ‘Reviving Our Oceans Earthshot’.


Prince William with Sir David Attenborough, who is a member of the Earthshot Prize Council (Kensington Palace/The Earthshot Prize/PA)

The announcement of winners in each category will be made on 17th October.

Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS)

W: https://www.sims.org.au/

F: https://www.facebook.com/sydneyinstituteofmarinescience/

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