Inspiration Projects

GreenWave: Creating Jobs and Mitigating Climate Change with 3D Ocean Farms

Maker: GreenWave

Challenge: Billions of people depend on the food and services the ocean provides for their livelihoods. However, current ocean and land-based human activities are contributing to over-fishing, ecosystem destruction, pollution, and eutrophication.

According to UN Sustainable Development, “subsidies for fishing are contributing to the rapid depletion of many fish species and are preventing efforts to save and restore global fisheries and related jobs, causing ocean fisheries to generate US$50 billion less per year than they could.”


An organization called GreenWave has pioneered a polyculture vertical farming system called “3D Ocean Farming” which allows ocean farmers to sustainably grow seaweeds and shellfish  along the entire water column while at the same time contributing to carbon sequestration and the restoration of reef ecosystems.  The 3D Ocean Farming system is open source, making it easy for other ocean farmers and fishers to adopt the system with reasonable startup costs.


  • Generation of blue-green economy jobs
  • Carbon sequestration, (sea vegetables absorb up to 5 x more carbon than land-based plants)
  • Production of edible sea greens, a sustainable alternative that reduces pressure on fish stocks
  • Bolstering the sustainable growth of infrastructure for new farmers in the blue-green economy
  • Increased climate resilience, thanks to the rebuilding and restoration of reef systems
  • Zero input of fertilizers or antibiotics (“the most sustainable form of food production on the planet”)
  • Creation of new and stable markets for farmers’ crops
  • Prevention of dead zones
  • Protection of shared natural resources

Learn More:

Water Brothers Animation from GreenWaveORG on Vimeo.


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