This week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced 10 winners in the ADAPT stage of the Waves to Water Prize, a competition focused on using the power of waves to develop clean energy-powered desalination technologies to help provide potable water to communities in need. Moving forward to the next phase of the competition known as the CREATE stage, the chosen teams will have 180 days to build a functional prototype or proof of concept of their system. The winners will also have the opportunity to work with prize sponsors that will support their progress. Up to 10 CREATE Stage winners will be selected to share a $500,000 prize pool and will develop a plan to build and deliver their technology for the final stage of the prize, DRINK.

As first announced last Spring, the Coastal Studies Institute and Jennette’s Pier will partner with DOE and the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) to host the prize finalists. The pier will serve as the launch and test site for the competitors’ final designs.

“The CSI team is excited to host the DRINK stage of the competition in 2022.  These innovative technologies have tremendous potential in advancing marine energy solutions for our blue economy and addressing global drinking water challenges” says George Bonner, Director of North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program.

Learn more about the Waves to Water Prize, follow the competitors’ progress as they near the grand finale, and stay tuned to CSI’s social media platforms and website for more updates.

Led by East Carolina University (ECU), The Coastal Studies Institute is a multi-institutional research and educational partnership of the UNC System including North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Wilmington, and Elizabeth City State University.


Based at the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI), the North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program (NCROEP) advances inter-disciplinary marine energy solutions across UNC System partner colleges of engineering at NC State University, UNC Charlotte, and NC A&T University.  Click on the links below for more information.




ECU's Integrated Coastal Programs (ECU ICP) is a leader in coastal and marine research, education, and engagement.   ECU ICP includes the Coastal Studies Institute, ECU's Department of Coastal Studies, and ECU Diving and Water Safety.


The faculty and staff at the Coastal Studies Institute come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, as well as departments and organizations including ECU Department of Biology, ECU Department of Coastal Studies, NC Sea Grant, the North Carolina Renewable Energy Program, and the UNC Institute for the Environment.


Tour the ECU Outer Banks Campus and learn about the research, education, and engagement projects of CSI and ECU Integrated Coastal Programs through our 360 virtual tour.


The ECU Outer Banks campus is home to the Coastal Studies Institute.
Located on Roanoke Island along the banks of the second largest estuary
in the United States, this coastal campus spans 213 acres of marshes, scrub wetlands, forested wetlands, and estuarine ecosystems.