The Eternal Reefs Family of Organizations Wins Prestigious 2020 Katerva Award

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The global awards organization that scouts disruptive sustainable technologies and innovations has recognized the ground breaking advances and positive environmental impact of Reef Balls.

A turtle swims through reef balls on the ocean floor.

“It’s incredibly rewarding that our work rebuilding the ocean’s reefs has been recognized along with other cutting-edge sustainability players and award winners. We’re very proud to be associated with this honor," said George Frankel, Eternal Reefs CEO.

An Eternal Reefs sister company, the Reef Ball Foundation, has won two prestigious 2020 Katerva Awards, a first place People’s Choice Award and a first runner-up award, both in Katerva’s energy and environmental category. Katerva’s global network of technology and innovation experts scout disruptive environmental products, services, technologies, business models and business processes from across all sectors, from around the world, and at all stages of development. The Eternal Reefs family of organizations includes The Genesis Reef Project, Reef Innovations and The Reef Ball Foundation, the latter of which received the Katerva Award.

The Katerva Award was called "the Nobel Prize for sustainability" by Reuters and the Reef Ball Foundation won honors this year for its work designing and building artificial, engineered reef systems that mimic the ocean’s natural reefs and are easily deployed and self-anchoring, thus simplifying the installation process.

“Katerva vets ideas and concepts with a rigorous review process involving more than 600 professionals, four filtering phases and two stages of focused review,” said George Frankel, CEO of Eternal Reefs. “It’s incredibly rewarding that our work rebuilding the ocean’s reefs has been recognized along with other cutting-edge sustainability players and award winners. We’re very proud to be associated with this honor.”

According to its website, the mission of Katerva is to “find, evaluate and accelerate disruptive sustainable innovations from around the world” and is “looking for ideas that leap efficiency, lifestyle, and create action that is a generation ahead of current thinking.”

Kathy Kirbo, Reef Ball Foundation board vice president, said that Katerva profiles companies that model innovations that can be scaled for both business opportunities and global good.

“Earning recognition by Katerva can certainly open access to leadership development, funders, collaborations, and heightened visibility for the Reef Ball family of organizations,” Kirbo said. “But more important to us is the recognition by this global group of independent thinkers. By identifying a wide variety of companies across a gamut of industries, we are associated with a group that’s defying conventional ways of thinking and fighting for global change. We are honored and humbled to be in such prestigious company and are thrilled our work rebuilding reef systems has earned recognition in not one, but two categories.”

The Katerva Award identifies companies in its annual global competition from thousands of ideas submitted to a panel of experts and award council members. Katerva selects winners in each of 10 categories. Finalists are announced mid-April every year and category winners learn of their achievements in mid-May. Typically, there is an awards ceremony but in 2020, it will not occur due to the global novel coronavirus pandemic.

About Eternal Reefs
The Genesis Reef Project dba Eternal Reefs, Inc. is a Sarasota-based non-profit organization that provides a creative, environmentally enhancing way to memorialize the cremated remains of a loved one. Eternal Reefs incorporates cremains into a proprietary concrete mixture to create permanent memorial reefs which quickly bolster natural coastal reef formations.

In November 2019, Eternal Reefs dedicated the On Eternal Patrol Memorial Reef to honor the 4,000+ lost souls aboard the 65 U.S. submarines that never returned from duty. The reef site is the first and only memorial to these veterans in the environment in which they served, the ocean, and is also the future location for Arlington of the Sea, a project to offer our nation’s veterans an ocean memorial alternative to Arlington National Cemetery. Eternal Reefs pioneered the concept of reef memorialization and, since 1998, the organization has placed nearly 2,000 Memorial Reefs in 25 locations off U.S. coastlines, substantially increasing the ocean’s diminishing reef systems. Memorial reefs can only go in properly permitted locations by a host of governing agencies. The Reef Ball Foundation and Reef Innovations are strategic partners. Learn more at or on the company’s Facebook page.

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Becky Peterson
BP Public Relations
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