GROW Oyster Reefs encourages growth of oyster reefs to restore coastlines.


  • Improved biodiversity
  • Reduced coastline erosion


  • Coastline infrastructure

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 9: Industry Innovation & Infrastructure

  • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities

  • Goal 14: Life Below Water

The Challenge

Coastlines worldwide are threatened by the impact of climate change. The oyster, a keystone species, has declined by 85% since the 1850’s and has been protecting the world’s coastlines for thousands of years. GROW Oyster Reefs products work with the oyster to build self-healing coastal defense infrastructures, attenuating wave energy and sequestering carbon.

Innovation Details

Oysters are critical to maintaining healthy coastlines. They clean the water and create reefs that protect from ocean swells. To help revitalize oyster populations, GROW Oyster Reefs has created proprietary concrete mixes that are chemically similar to oyster shells, and micro- and macro-designs that attract and retain healthy oyster populations. By working with nature to restore coastal ecosystems, GROW’s products enable long-lasting habitat restoration.

video thumbnail

Watch how Grow Oyster Reefs learned from and works with nature to restore coastal ecosystems.

Biological Model

Human buildings are uniform structures because we design elements like bricks to fit together perfectly. But oysters build amorphous reefs out of their irregular shells that climb from the ocean floor up rocks and seawalls. The irregular structure of an oyster reef shields a complex inner world of crevices, fissures, and gaps that develop from the oysters’ nonuniformity. Larvae find protection within these “interstitial folds,” where calmer waters exert weaker stresses, allowing them to attach to reefs more easily and live longer.

Ray of Hope Prize

The Ray of Hope Prize® celebrates nature-inspired solutions addressing the world’s biggest environmental and sustainability challenges. Created in honor of Ray C. Anderson, founder of Interface, Inc. and a business and sustainability leader, the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize helps startups cross a critical threshold in becoming viable businesses by amplifying their stories and providing them with equity-free funding. The prize shines a light on the innovative, nature-inspired solutions that we need to build a sustainable and resilient world. GROW Oyster Reefs was selected as a finalist for the 2021 Ray of Hope Prize.