The New Reef is the First in the Northern Hemisphere to Revitalize a Seaside Community, Provide Coastal Protection and Foster Marine Habitat
Venice Beach, Calif. and Raglan, New Zealand – October 21, 2009 – Amalgamate Solutions and Research (ASR), the world leader in the design and construction of multi-purpose artificial reefs, announced today that it has completed Europe’s first multi-purpose reef on the Boscombe shoreline, just outside of southern England’s coastal town of Bournemouth. The reef was engineered and constructed by ASR, who spearheads the movement towards environmentally sensitive coastal protection.
ASR was enlisted to help Bournemouth improve its surfing conditions in order to increase tourism, which is part of the town’s 18 million dollar Boscombe Spa Village regeneration plan, but the new reef will provide a much more substantial benefit to the beachside community. Mimicking nature, the multi-purpose reef provides the same beach protection benefits of natural reefs – acting as a protective barrier to the coastline to help decrease sand erosion on beaches, as well as creating a new marine habitat.
“At ASR we’re passionate about multi-purpose reefs as the sustainable future of coastal protection. Our beaches are facing increasing direct and in-direct threats from both humanity and the natural world, with issues like global warming and the rise of the sea level,” said Nick Behunin, managing partner, ASR. “While the initial investment to build a reef is often more than seawalls and rock jetties, the environmental and economic benefits of multi-purpose reefs far exceed those of the traditional methods – as beaches are protected without creating blight, marine habitat is enhanced and beach communities get socio-economic benefits from increased recreational use.”
There are several unique benefits to the creation of multi-purpose reefs as it pertains to coastal protection:
• Reefs decrease the rate of erosion on beaches by dissipating wave energy before it has a chance to hit the beach
• Reefs create marine habitat and increase ecology
• Reefs can be designed to create a recreational amenity like surfing, diving and fishing
• Reefs are submerged offshore structures, supporting the natural beauty of the beach and ocean, unlike prominent seawalls or groin structures, which can be unsightly and create blight
“The Boscombe Spa Village project already produced a rise in tourism, even before the completion of the reef, re-establishing Boscombe to its rightful place as a leading destination beach resort. An affluent surfer market is attracted to the area, and as a result, jobs have been created, the seafront transformed, a new water sports facility built and a community revived. The reef is a perfect example of how an innovative free-to-use project can have such a positive ripple effect in an area,” said Roger Brown, Director of Leisure Services, Bournemouth Borough Council. “While the reef will improve wave quality for surfers, it’s exciting to know that there are underwater benefits too, as sea life, including cuttlefish and spidercrabs, have already been making the artificial surf reef at Boscombe their home.”
What is a Multi-Purpose Reef?
Using cutting-edge biomimicry technology, multi-purpose reefs provide protection to shorelines in order to prevent sand erosion, while simultaneously enhancing the under-water ecology and creating a recreational amenity for fisherman, divers and in some cases, surfers.
Multi-purpose reefs are constructed under water outside the shoreline, in order to protect the beach from wave action. The construction of reefs is highly specialized and uses geo-textile bags, weighing upwards of 2,500 tons that are secured to a base that is anchored to the ocean floor. Sand is then pumped into the bags, as divers monitor the process from the sea floor to ensure design requirements are met. Construction must be conducted during perfect weather conditions and while the ocean is flat and calm.
The reef does not create waves, but instead acts as a ramp that changes the way the waves break – it harnesses existing wave energy that used to break on the sand, causing erosion, and channels it to break on the offshore reef instead. As a result, the beach is protected, ecology is enhanced, and improved conditions are created for surfers, divers and fishermen.
Upcoming Projects – India’s First Coastal Protection Reef
ASR has done design and feasibility study work for over 40 reefs around the world, with the level of interest from governments, developers and local communities growing at a rapid pace.
ASR is currently constructing India’s first coastal protection reef in Kovalam, Kerala, India. Kovalam a popular tourist destination in southern India, but its shoreline is at risk of coastal erosion during the monsoon season. ASR was contacted by the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala through the Department of Harbour Engineering to design and construct an offshore multi-purpose reef to protect the beach, while improving ecology and enhancing tourism through the introduction of a recreational water activities, such as surfing. Pending good weather, the reef is expected to be completed in Q1 2010.
ASR also has plans to start several other reef projects in Europe, South Africa and the United States.
About ASR, LTD.
Amalgamate Solutions and Research (ASR) is the global leader in both the design and construction of multi-purpose reefs with more than 30 years of experience, numerous awards and patents. ASR also provides a range of consulting services, including numerical modeling, sustainable marine farm studies, wave energy projects, biological monitoring, research-based technical investigations, baseline surveys, larval dispersal, ecological surveys and assessment, and has worked with the largest desalination plant in the southern hemisphere.
The ASR philosophy is to Understand, Innovate, Sustain. Before undertaking a new project, the company’s first priority is to understand the natural processes governing a specific project site. This knowledge is then used to develop an innovative and sustainable solution to the problem – this approach is always the same whether the problem is erosion, sediment transport, effluent dispersion, ecological impacts, environmental impacts or poor surf. To learn more visit www.asrltd.com and http://blog.asrltd.com.
About Multi-Purpose Reefs
Multi-Purpose Reefs create marine habitat and increase ecology while protecting our beaches. With the strain that humanity is putting on our oceans marine systems, we need to be smarter about how we manage this critical natural resource. Given the amount of money that is spent worldwide on coastal protection each year, it is obvious to us that we should be protecting our beaches in ways that also help the environment.
ASR is one of the few companies in the world developing innovative solutions for coastal protection that work in concert with the natural world rather than against it. We are also the only company in the world that is effectively incorporating elements into our coastal protection solutions, which actually improve surfing conditions rather than degrade them. As the global leader in the design and construction of multi-purpose reefs, we are spearheading the environmentally sensitive future of coastal protection.
The concepts behind our multi-purpose reefs are based on the observed and measured responses of actual shorelines to naturally occurring offshore reefs. The development of salient’s (sand formation) and increased shoreline stabilization behind submerged offshore structures is a phenomenon that has been well documented in peer reviewed technical journals and coastal engineering manuals. ASR has merged these concepts with our understanding of marine systems and our pioneering work on the science of surfing to develop technology which will protect and stabilize the coastline, enhance marine ecology, and, where the natural conditions will allow, create an enhanced surfing experience.
ASR is changing the way that the world thinks about how we protect our beaches. We are one of the few companies in the world developing innovative solutions for coastal protection that work in concert with the natural world, rather than against it. As the global leader in the design and construction of multi-purpose reefs, we are spearheading the environmentally sensitive future of coastal protection. With over 30 years experience, numerous awards and patents, and a deep personal connection to the ocean, our people are working to ensure that our beaches remain protected for generations to come. Our unparalleled research and use of innovative technology have led us to one simple conclusion: nature knows best.
ASR’s thorough understanding of marine systems, science, and technology enables us to consider sustainability and environmental and human health in everything we do. Our philosophy is to: Understand, Innovate, Sustain. Our first priority is always to understand the natural processes governing a specific project site. After spending time developing an understanding of how nature designed a system and intended it to work, we begin to apply that understanding to develop an innovative and sustainable solution to the problem.This approach is always the same whether the problem is erosion, sediment transport, effluent dispersion, ecological impacts, environmental impacts, or poor surf. Our goal is to provide the best possible product and service in terms of quality while enhancing both human and environmental conditions.