Three ECOncrete tidal pools were installed in the North Portsea Island Defence Scheme, in collaboration with Knights Brown, and are the first of their kind in the UK. The tidal pools create local ecosystems that mimic rock pools and encourage an important variety of plant and animal life to thrive in a habitat protected from the elements.
ECOncrete is a multi-award winning product. In 2019, it was recognised by Times magazine in its annual top 100 list of ground-breaking inventions, and in the same year won Richard Branson’s entrepreneurial competition where he recognised ECOncrete’ innovative use of eco-engineering to enhance biodiversity and protect coastlines.
Instead of building the tidal pools with smooth concrete blocks, ECOncrete uses a technique known as biomimicry, which mimics the natural world, designing tidal pools to have the same shapes and textures found in nature and imitate natural rock pools by retaining water at low tides.
Within a week of installation, Goby fish were seen in the tidal pools and the growth of seaweed is helping species to be present which you wouldn’t see if rocks were there. Coastal Partners are working with Bournemouth University to develop a monitoring regime to determine how effective the tidal pools are in their location.
Andrew Rella, PhD from ECOncrete said
“Considering the continual development of the UK's coastal and riverine areas due to the ever-increasing threat from climate, it is crucial to design and build marine and coastal infrastructure in a responsible manner that not only serves to protect but ultimately enhances vulnerable marine ecosystems and communities. ECOncrete is proud to provide environmentally sensitive solutions, such as the ecologically enhanced concrete tidal pools, that help bridge the gap between the needs of development and sustaining marine resources”.