If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to create a renewable energy device that creates clean drinking water, now’s your chance to find out!

As a partner and final DRINK stage host of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Waves to Water Prize, the Coastal Studies Institute welcomes members of the public to stop by the ECU Outer Banks Campus on Wednesday, March 30, from 12- 2 PM, to view the devices and meet the teams.

The $3.3 million Waves to Water Prize has, over the last three years, challenged innovators to engineer and build wave-powered desalination devices in hopes of providing better access to clean drinking water for remote coastal communities and for disaster relief efforts.

The stakes are high as the DRINK Finale kicks off on March 30. The devices will be deployed for five days in April as the weather cooperates, and $1 million in awards is up for grabs! The grand prize winners will receive $500,000, and additional prizes totaling $500,000 will also be awarded for other individual metrics.

Come see the devices on March 30 from 12- 2 PM at CSI before they hit the water and are put to the test! And don’t forget to stay tuned to CSI’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for all of the latest Waves to Water Prize updates.

Learn more about the remaining teams and their devices in the video above then stop by to see them on Wednesday, March 30, between 12 and 2 PM!

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.