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Team info
Jaime Ascencio
Daniel Dacomba
Bodenlenz Fabian


The challenge

Marine Ecosystems have been degrading in alarming rates! Around the world, 85% of oyster beds, 50% of coral reefs and other reef habitats have been lost, according to a major study. Port Construction and Maintenance plays a huge role in this matter. For example, studies report that the Port of Miami destroyed more than half a million corals in their last dredging activities. In February of this year, Australia approved to dump one million tonnes of sludge next to the Great Barrier Reef. And this story is repeated every time, everywhere in the world. Why? Humans need infrastructure and the costs to deal with these matters are too high. Nevertheless, the pressure in ports on how to deal with their sediments and their impact on nature is increasing exponentially. Special landfills need to be constructed or huge distances need to be shipped by expensive vessels to dump the sediments further offshore. At the same time, international governments invest millions to save marine ecosystems and protect the coastline from sea level rise. The Australian government just announced A$60 million in funding to help save corals and sea level rise could increase coastal defenses costs by USD$9.6 trillion. Does this make sense? Invest huge amounts to save ecosystems if at the same time we are destroying them?

The solution

It is just a matter of connecting the points! We, REEFY, have created a technology that reuses the material from the ports, either sand or mud, to build artificial reefs that can be assembled underwater in a Lego-like structure. This structure is stable against storms and can be used as an additional breakwater for ports or coastal protection. But not only that! These units are designed for each ecosystem and target species to allow nature to develop and establish. Did you know reef builders can cope with sea level rise reducing the maintenance costs for ports breakwaters? Well, we do and that is why we have integrated it on our design! In addition, while using local sediments we reduce the CO2 footprint and fight climate change! This solution is based on a technology that gives confidence to the engineering firms to design with them, easy enough to install for different types of contractors and complex enough for nature to grow. It can be implemented to protect and restore nature in all kind of environments. Icon by [Eucalyp] and Cover by [Matthew Kane]

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