Seawalls are usually built to avoid erosion of the shoreline. Volvo car Australia is building a living seawall to protect the marine life.
The increased plastic pollution in the ocean has made marine life difficult. Solving environmental issues requires modern, divergent thinking. The Volvo cars manufacturer has come up with an innovative seawall which supports marine biodiversity.
Volvo supported the UN world environment day by revealing their innovative solution to protect marine life around Sydney harbour. The company launched its innovative project “Living Seawall” in collaboration with Reef Design Lab and Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences.
Construction of Living Seawall:
The living Seawall is designed using 50 tessellating tiles. These tiles are specially designed to mimic Mangrove tree roots. Each tile is designed and built using advanced 3D printing technique. The tiles will be installed on the seawall structure existing on the coastline. Reef design lab is helping in designing the tiles and installation.
Beating plastic pollution:
The Living Seawall uses uniquely designed tiles made from concrete reinforced with 100% recycled plastic fibres. These recycled plastic fibres are embedded within the concrete to provide strength and mimic roots of mangroves.
The plastic cannot disperse into the ocean. Recycling of plastics into a composite material will take care of the plastic pollution in the ocean. For the next 20 Years, the Living Seawall is expected to help combat the effects of pollution and urbanization.
Protecting Marine Biodiversity:
Seawall mimic’s the root structure of mangrove trees that were once prolific along Sydney Harbour. These root-like structures provide space for tiny creatures to build a home. In a week of installation, oysters and dirt feeding organisms will colonise the Living Seawall.
The Living Seawall adds extra details and support to the existing seawall structure. The structure supports biodiversity and attracts many organisms including filter-feeding organisms. This actually helps to absorb and filter out pollutants like particulate matter and heavy metals. Filtering with living organisms is a sustainable way of keeping the water ‘clean’. The more organisms we have, the cleaner the water.
Volvo Cars have actively been supporting UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign. Their interest in creating a Living Seawall is an example of their concern for the environment. Big companies actions could bring a positive change and Volvo’s action will make others rethink about sustainability.