Stabilizing a hurricane-prone shoreline
Solution Type: Shoreline Protection, articulated concrete block mattress
Partners: BESSER Company, Nova Southeastern University
Designing and piloting a new type of marine mattress that will provide not only shoreline stabilization, but also habitat value.
Florida coasts are exposed to a barrage of threats: particularly, increasingly severe storms and flooding. Protecting communities and assets while maintaining unique coastal habitats is critical to ensuring a resilient future for the US state.
How we built it:
ECOncrete and BESSER Company collaborated to design and develop ecologically beneficial articulated concrete block mattresses. ECOncrete’s articulated mats and traditional cement reference mats were deployed side by side by a 35 ton mobile crane and 4-person crew. Mere months after installation, Hurricane Irma hit the Florida coastline and decimated many hard coastal infrastructures, yet ECOncrete mattresses weathered the storm and subsequent hurricane seasons. Nova Southeastern University monitored the installation, and found that ECOncrete’s technologies had accumulated double the amount of calcium-carbonate based organisms, like clams and tubeworms, all of which create habitat, filter water, and store carbon dioxide. The mattresses’ unique form and ECOncrete’s admix encourage biological development, encrusting the infrastructure with an added layer of protection from tensile and abrasion forces in comparison to reference mats.