Fish and water infrastructure are not natural bedfellows. When fish swim into pipes and dam intakes, they become separated from their natural habitat, which impacts native populations, threatens biodiversity, and impedes recovery efforts for threatened and endangered species.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO), in collaboration with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, has launched the Fish Protection Prize, inspiring innovators to compete for $700,000 of combined cash prizes and voucher support to help protect fish from these threats. As many as three winners will be selected.
The Fish Protection Prize is catalyzing new solutions, designs, and strategies to protect fish from water infrastructure, such as water diversions and pipes, and intakes at hydropower dams. We’re seeking innovative ideas to advance fish exclusion technology.
This prize builds on the initial Fish Exclusion Prize, run by the Bureau of Reclamation, released on March 6, 2019. The winners of the first prize were announced in December 2019. This next three-staged prize invites you to share your innovative approach—along with a design and research plan—for keeping fish away from water diversions and intakes.
Competitors can propose solutions for any fish species found in the United States and that can be applied to river and irrigation canal diversions, unscreened diversion pipes for irrigation or municipal water supplies, cooling water intakes of power plants, or dam intakes. New ideas for addressing fish exclusion or improvements to existing technologies are also welcome.
While the prize is soliciting solutions of all shapes and sizes, organizers identified the following six topic areas as having the greatest potential for successful and cost-effective fish exclusion:
The CONCEPT Stage is now closed, and 9 finalists were selected to enter the INCUBATION Stage. In the INCUBATION Stage, participants will be paired with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and will receive up to 50 hours of technical analysis or other support in advance of the PITCH CONTEST. The PITCH CONTEST will determine which of the finalists will receive the cash and voucher Grand Prizes.
Sign up for updates on our HeroX challenge page.
Calling all innovators, visionaries, and enthusiasts with a passion for preservation! Be part of a trailblazing contest sparking tomorrow’s marine life-energy solutions. Citizens or permanent residents of the United States and private or non-federal public entities, such as townships, tribes, corporations, and other organizations that are incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States are invited to compete in the American-Made Challenge network. Individuals can compete alone or as a member of a group.
Are you a thinker, entrepreneur, or potential partner? Anyone with an innovative idea can participate in the American-Made Challenges.