The Port of San Diego and ECOncrete have been honored by The Climate Registry (TCR) with the Innovative Partnership Award in the 2024 Climate Leadership Awards. The prestigious accolade recognizes exemplary leadership in reducing carbon pollution and addressing climate change through innovative solutions and sustainable practices.

Supported by the Port’s Blue Economy Incubator, ECOncrete developed and deployed an interlocking single layer coastal armor system (Coastalock) to replace traditional shoreline armoring, or riprap, by providing ecological armoring, shoreline stabilization, and well-defined local ecosystems that mimic natural tide pools.

Coastalock were deployed in two sections along the Port’s Harbor Island, where the current waterfront armor protection is traditional shoreline armoring, or riprap rock mound, which offers limited habitat value. Monitoring of the pilot project occurred over 26 months and included reports done every six months. The reports investigated the effectiveness of the project’s structural integrity and ability to recruit native marine species, in comparison to control units of riprap.

Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Gain

The scientific monitoring confirms the COASTALOCK units have become home to a wide variety of sea life including shellfish (oyster and mussels), sea hares, nudibranch, coralline algae, sea stars, acorn barnacles, sea anemones, lobsters, crabs, and even great blue heron. Based off preliminary analysis, the deployed COASTALOCK units have 310.8 m2 of surface area and have an annual CaCO3 growth 739,704 grams per year, an annual Co2 equivalent (CO2e) of .088 tons. The control units, which were legacy riprap with the same surface area, only have CACO3 buildup of 93,240 grams per year, nearly eight times less than the COASTALOCK units.

Growth on a Coastalock observed 27 months after deployment

Innovative Solution and Tangible Results

“We are deeply honored to receive this esteemed award for our ECOncrete partnership,” said Chairman Frank Urtasun, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “The ECOncrete project embodies our dedication to implementing innovative solutions that mitigate climate change impacts while fostering the growth of our blue economy.”

“The healthy ecosystem developing on the COASTALOCK revetment at the Port of San Diego is the most powerful testimony for the Port and ECOncrete’s successful partnership,” said Ido Sella, Co-Founder and CEO of ECOncrete. “It is truly a lighthouse project of ecologically responsible marine construction that highlights the feasibility in harnessing coastal infrastructure to support and enhance marine biodiversity at scale.”