Fishermen, Engineers and Entrepreneurs Compete to Solve Water Issues

Propeller Announces Water Challenge Semi-Finalists to Compete at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

9 March 2017

NEW ORLEANS, LA (Mar. 9, 2017) – Propeller announces the 9 semi-finalists who will compete at the Water Challenge, a pitch competition awarding $15,000, provided by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, to ideas to rebuild the coast, improve urban water management, and bring jobs to the local water economy.

The competition will take place at the Ogden Museum Library on Monday, March 20th from 2–4PM during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW). The Water Challenge is free and open to the public. Registration is required via

Water Challenge 2017 Semi-Finalists:

AutoFlow LLC (Peyton Watson) is pioneering the Autoriser water control gate. This technology provides strong economic incentives while significantly improving environmental water quality by using telemetry and automation to precisely control the release of water from agricultural fields and other impoundment areas.

Bayou Backer Erosion Control (Joseph Lazaro) provides cheap and effective protection to marshland and eroding shoreline by installing HDPE plastic to reduce wave energy caused by persistent boat wakes.

The GlassLand Project (Guy Packard Seaberg) will hasten preservation of the Louisiana coast by diverting up to 100,000 tons per year of residential waste glass from the landfill  to our diminishing wetlands. They do it as a single-entity specialty recycling service that collects, transforms, sells and delivers re-processed glass to a wide range of industries, and intend to sell the bulk of their output to the rapidly expanding coastal restoration industry.

Landscape Metrics, LLC (Benjamin Wellington) transforms quantitative data into interactive, attractive, and informative narratives in order to inspire public engagement with environmental issues from local water quality to global climate change.

Marine Gardens Marsh Armor (Michael Boatright) uses Industrial size 3D printers to construct inexpensive custom cementous geopolymer structures from industrial mineral waste streams.

Marine Turbine Technologies, LLC (Ted McIntyre, II) has created a twin turbine airboat to replace work vessels needed for projects in fragile wetland environments that maintain Louisiana’s working coast.

Bluefin Data (Andrew Petersen) is creating VESL, a software platform that will promote efficient operations for seafood producers and government agencies.

Orleans Resource Center, LLC (William Belisle, PhD) has created an oil spill remediation and containment net, a 2’x30’ (with varying sizes) water-borne, oil remediation and containment net that can be dragged through oil spills, positioned around oil spills and leaks or connected to booms, skimmers and sorbents to collect oil and restrict further oil movement through bodies of water.

Sustaining Our Urban Landscape (SOUL) (Susannah Burley) is piloting the project You Dig, strategically planting native trees in New Orleans neighborhoods, with the mission of driving a resilient and environmentally equitable New Orleans through reforesting our city.

Originally seeded by the Greater New Orleans Foundation and The Idea Village, the Water Challenge is funded by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, and supported by Entergy Corporation.