Volvo's Living Seawall

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Volvo's Living Seawall

Volvo has been working on tackling our ocean plastic problem by hosting beach clean ups around the world.  They recently stepped up again in an effort to combat the degradation of our seas by creating 3d printed Living Seawalls, which they hope will serve to aid in restoring ocean biodiversity.   The Living Seawall has been designed to mimic the root structure of mangrove trees, which support nearly 75% of the coastlines in the tropics, but have been depleted over recent years. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, more than 35% of mangrove forests are now gone, and up to 50% have been destroyed in some countries.  Seeing as these terrestrial plants serve as home to a massive variety of organisms, including everything from insects to egrets and jellyfish to lemon shark pups, the loss of such an environment would be certainly devastating. Since seawalls have replaced the mangrove forests in many places, the Swedish car maker has teamed up with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Reef Design Lab and North Sydney Council to retrofit the tiles directly onto the seawall.  According to Alex Goad, this “flips a harmful structure into a marine habitat and presents a unique opportunity to research which specific designs and geometries are the best to support the ecosystems in our oceans.”  The area surrounding these tiles will be monitored for the next 20 years to watch and measure improvements in biodiversity and water quality.  We are all hoping this advancement serves to shelter a diverse array of life and will help to replenish our oceans.