Prince William ‘really enjoyed’ wading in the East River during a trip to an environmental water project in New York.
The 41-year-old royal is currently in the States on a solo trip during which he will announce the finalists for his 2023 Earthshot Prize.
William founded the awards in 2020, saying he wanted to turn ‘current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism by celebrating the people and places driving change’.
Every year between 2021 and 2030, an awards ceremony will honour winners in the prize’s five categories who are creating innovations which tackle environmental issues. Each winner is given £1million to support and scale their work.
Upon his arrival in the US on Monday, the Prince of Wales went straight to Governors Island in New York Harbor to visit the Billion Oyster Project, which aims to make the waters around New York clean by putting a billion oyster shells in them by 2035 to act as natural filters.
Prince William waded in the East River, which he is said to have ‘really enjoyed’, during a visit to the Billion Oyster Project in New York yesterday (pictured)
While visiting the initiative (pictured) Prince William learnt about the work the Project is doing to clean the waters around New York
During the engagement, the royal donned waders and took to the water – an experience he ‘really enjoyed’, according to the Billion Oyster Project’s Director of Community Engagement Robina Taliaferrow.
Speaking about the royal’s visit, Robina said in a video clip: ‘He really enjoyed it, especially after an eight-hour flight, so he was excited to get into the natural environment.’
During the visit, William met schoolchildren who are studying marine biology and spoke with employees of the Billion Oyster Project, which was founded in 2014 by Murray Fisher and Pete Malinowski.
He also saw the giant pile of oyster shells that are donated by 75 restaurants in New York rather than being sent to landfill sites.
And afterward – despite the gray skies and rain – he waded into the East River from a small beach and put some oysters into the water.
Prince William is set to announce the Earthshot finalists today. Arriving at the airport yesterday, he said: ‘It’s so good to be back in United States.
‘No one does optimism and ingenuity like the American people, so it’s only right we unveil this year’s Earthshot finalists in New York City.
’80 years ago, the world came together in this great city to find a new way, through the UN, to solve our shared challenges.
The Prince talks with members of the project as he walks along the New York foreshore
William stands up to his waist in the water as he mucks in – putting in oysters in a bid to clean the waterway
On Governor’s Island, Prince William met schoolchildren (pictured) who are studying marine biology
The Prince of Wales can be seen chuckling as he speaks with children as he visits Billion Oyster Project
He asked questions and listened intently as volunteers told him more about an area with thousands of oyster shells at the Billion Oyster Project
William set off on a boat with executive director and co founder of Billion Ouster Project Pete Malinowski
‘I know our generation can take the bold action we need to make changes towards a healthy and sustainable world. The challenge may feel huge, but as John F Kennedy taught us, we rise to the challenge not because it is easy, but because it is hard. And vital’.
Ahead of William’s arrival, a Kensington Palace spokesman said: ‘The prince was incredibly appreciative for the love and support shown by the American people during that time.
‘He is very much looking forward to being back in New York this week and hopefully meeting as many New Yorkers as possible’
The Prince left the Princess of Wales at home with the children as he travelled to the US – with Kate also not expected to join him for the Earthshot Awards ceremony in Singapore in November.
There appears to be no plans to see his estranged brother while in the US – just days after Prince Harry’s Invictus Games came to a close in Dusseldorf, Germany.