Structures for marine biodiversity
Wharves, pontoons, wind turbine foundations, offshore platforms, bridge piers, dikes, breakwaters, piers, marine pipelines, and so much more. These marine structures built by humans all represent site opportunities that can be made proactive for biodiversity. In 2014, Egis created Seaboost, a company that develops and provides various eco-design solutions to allow better environmental integration of maritime structures into their ecosystem. The design of Seaboost’s solutions finds inspiration in the observation of nature, by adopting the concept of biomimetics.
This has led to the creation of the following:
- The “Roselière” module (photo opposite) look like shelters set up by the roots of lagoon reed beds and by large marine algae.
- The “Sea urchin” module, inspired by the symbiosis between tropical sea urchins and the juvenile fish that find suitable shelter against predators among their spines.
Since May 2014, Seaboost submerged its “Sea urchins” and “Roselières” in the great seaport of Marseille.
The aim of this initiative was to develop the potential of marine structures as nursery habitats. Almost 150 m3 of micro-habitats were deployed to equip 240 linear metres of quays and dykes in the Grand Port Maritime of Marseille-Fos. These eco-designed dikes and docks now have the important job of protecting juvenile fish growing in the shallows of the harbour before their migration to the open sea when they have grown. Our group joined forces with industrial partners for these developments.
To restore degraded marine habitats along the Marseille coast, Seaboost has manufactured and put into place 36 artificial reefs. Various prefabrication innovations were developed, including ultra-porous concrete and the creation of the world’s first concrete, 3D-printed artificial reef. These habitats will give a much-needed boost to the ecosystem and support its recolonisation by marine life