Nineteenth Century Americans settled the continent with homesteads. Twenty-first Century Americans aspire to settle the oceans with seasteads. A seastead is a permanent settlement on the open seas. Seasteading is building these settlements and living in them. The major proponent of seasteading is Patri Friedman, who founded the Seasteading Institute in 2008 to research and promote seasteading. The Seasteading Institute spurs the development of seasteads through annual contests.
Earlier Seasteading Institute contests focused on the technical challenges of living on the sea. The most recent Seasteading Institute contest raised the bar by challenging entrants to write a plan for an economically feasible seastead. Five entrants won the Sink or Swim Business Plan Contest. The Grand prize went to Mike Doty and Travis Cannell for looking at fish farms. Second prize went to Theresa Klein for a proposed commercial space with no immigration visa restrictions. Michelle Toftely and Thrond Toftely won the HumanIPO Favorite prize for their proposal that centered on arbitration and dispute resolution mechanisms. The Best Seasteading PR prize went to Robert Lee and his team for suggesting an aquaculture research hub.
The last winning design could be built right here in Oradell on the Oradell Reservoir. Arthur B won the Most Creative prize for Children of the Sea, a proposed orphanage for impoverished children. Arthur's orphanage would house children from all of Africa and Asia, but only admit exceptional children due to the orphanage's limited capacity. A local seastead orphanage in Oradell could serve children with all ability levels and limit the number of children by accepting applicants only from Newark and Paterson.
The Oradell Reservoir is much shallower than the open ocean. It is possible to build a large orphanage on it with today's technology. Imagine six-story dormitories resting on piers just south of the Emerson Golf course. A bridge from Soldier Road to the piers would connect the orphanage to the mainland. This location is close to the Oradell Train Station, the 165 bus route, and the Oradell Public School so that the effect on vehicular traffic will be minimal.
RiverDell graduates a couple hundred students each year. The RiverDell school district should be able to absorb a 10% increase. That translates to 20 children per grade. If the orphanage serves children up to age 18, it should house about 360 children. Imagine all those disadvantaged children from Paterson and Newark benefiting from our schools.
The RiverDell schools would add 120 of these new Oradell students to their rosters. Because the nonprofit orphanage would not pay any taxes, this would help equalize the per pupil costs paid by Oradell and River Edge, an issue that residents .