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Wed June 16 2021

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San Diego tries new type of coastal armour

4 Feb The Port of San Diego and Econcrete have embarked on a three-year pilot project to test a coastal armour system designed to mimic natural rock pools.

The pilot project will test the new Coastalot system
The pilot project will test the new Coastalot system

The project at Harbor Island in San Diego will demonstrate a new design of Econcrete’s interlocking Coastalock Tide Pool Armor.

Harbor Island is currently protected from storm flooding and erosion by a riprap rock mound, offering limited value for local ecosystems.

As part of the pilot project, the new installation will secure Harbor Island’s shoreline with 72 interlocking armor units designed to provide environmentally sensitive edge protection. Econcrete said that the system will requiring minimal maintenance and that the interlocking armour provides structural, ecological and community engagement benefits, including the promotion of marine organisms and restoration of local ecosystems.

Every six months after installation, Econcrete will evaluate the viability of the tide pool units as an ecological armouring replacement to traditional riprap.

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Commissioner Rafael Castellanos of the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners said: “Econcrete’s Coastalock tide pool armour demonstrates an innovative approach that can be used for years to come for San Diego Bay. By mimicking natural rock pools with beautiful water retaining features, the project will sustain valuable marine life while coping with climate change and urbanisation. Harbor Island is the first and only location in Southern California for locals and visitors to see first-hand what kind of sea life takes residence in man-made tide pools.”

Water-retaining features in the armour mimic natural rock pools
Water-retaining features in the armour mimic natural rock pools

Dr Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, co-founder and CEO of Econcrete, added: “This Blue Economy pilot is proving that the coastal and marine construction industry can achieve two goals at once: any concrete infrastructure going into the water can perform structurally and be good for ecosystems. Coastalock is a fully load-bearing, durable solution that changes the form and function of our developed coastlines - making them stronger, able to store carbon, while rejuvenating the precious coastal ecosystems, and inviting the local community to engage with their waterfront.”

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