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Sea rock | Photo source Joe Pascavage on Unsplash

3D printed seawalls promote biodiversity and reduce pollution

Science & Environment

Volvo supports seawall design that mimics a popular habitat for marine life

Spotted: Specially designed 3D printed cement tiles are being used to restore marine biodiversity in Australia. The tiles are irregularly shaped to mimic the root structure of mangrove trees. Mangrove trees are a favourite habitat for sea life but are disappearing at an alarming rate. Oysters, molluscs and other marine life use the artificial crevices in the gaps between the tiles to create new habitats, according to Reef Design Lab, which made the habitat. The tiles are marine-grade concrete reinforced with recycled plastic fibres.

The designs were developed by Sydney Institute of Marine Science, with support from Volvo. The company was inspired to work on the project after research showed one rubbish truck of plastic enters the world’s oceans every minute.

Fifty tiles have been installed along a seawall in Sydney Harbor, Australia. Called the “Living Sea Wall”, the tiles will be in place for 20 years, according to the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. Scientists plan to study how wildlife responds.

Website: www.reefdesignlab.com, https://www.sims.org.au/

Contact: www.reefdesignlab.com/contact, www.sims.org.au/contact-us

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