Scientific evaluation of nature-inclusive designs in offshore wind infrastructure, and potential benefits for biodiversity, at ECOncrete’s Scour Protection installation 12 miles off Long Island.

Research teams from Stony Brook University NY are monitoring the biodiversity development, focusing on the change in population and fish diversity associated with the structure. This research is supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to better understand potential impacts of offshore wind development on benthic habitats.

As part of a large-scale demonstration project, ECOncrete nature-inclusive scour protection solution was deployed a year ago in coordination with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Over 1,000 metric tons of bio-enhancing scour protection and rock-material for comparison during scientific monitoring were installed at a depth of more than 100ft.

The 12-month biological monitoring includes Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis, high-resolution multibeam mapping, and finfish habitat and community modeling. Additionally, 3D physical model tests provide information on the hydraulic stability and porosity of the solution as a full armor layer for scour protection around a monopile, compared to traditional rock.

These results will help better understand how these novel scour protection materials are behaving and evolving in the marine environment and what effect they have on the evolution of the nearby seabed. This will allow us to reveal a deeper understanding of the impact of ecologically designed structures on marine biodiversity and what the implications are for offshore wind development going forward.

Cody Garrison, PhD. from Stony Brook University leads a team in eDNA sampling from the field

 

About ECOncrete’s Nature-Inclusive Engineering & Design

ECOncrete’s solutions for scour and cable protection are engineered and designed to enhance benthic habitats and biodiversity while achieving the required hydraulic stability at higher porosity. Sourced and manufactured locally from low-carbon concrete, the solutions can replace or complement traditionally used rock, which in many cases is shipped from abroad or farther locations.

ECOncrete ecological concrete technology enables nature-inclusive advancement within the existing supply chain of the Offshore Wind sector. The aim for the development of its scour protection solution is to optimize the design to benefit both foundation resiliency, minimize spatial project footprint and improve the local marine ecosystem. The results from the long-term ecological monitoring project holds the potential to set new standards in responsible offshore marine construction.

ECOncrete is committed to continue applying its innovative eco-engineering technology, science-based ecological enhancement principles, and local manufacturing to enable the design and construction of nature-inclusive offshore infrastructure.

Learn more: Case Study: Red Electrica Ecological Sub-sea Cable Protection