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The Port of San Diego (Port) partnered on a pilot project with ECOncrete Tech Ltd.
(ECOncrete), a company developing bio-enhancing concrete technology and ecological structural
solutions, to demonstrate an innovative approach of building resilient coastal infrastructures. The
goal of the pilot project was to provide an ecologically enhanced armor layer for shoreline
protection, while creating well-defined local ecosystems that mimic natural rock pools. The unique
partnership between ECOncrete and the Port resulted in a holistic project design to address not
only the structural and coastal engineering requirements for shoreline protection and stabilization,
but also the need to promote native marine habitats, increase biodiversity and restore local coastal
ecosystems. As part of the pilot project, ECOncrete will be conducting ecological and structural
monitoring every six months for two years. The project was launched in 2021 and the results from
the first biological monitoring event showed development towards a richer and more diverse
community, compared to adjacent control rocks. The pilot project demonstrates that Ports, with
the use of innovative technologies and materials, can achieve both structural and ecological goals
when designing coastal infrastructure. The resulting shoreline protection design is a single-layer
armor structure composed of interlocking units of bio-enhancing concrete, with multidirectional
characteristics, and water retention elements.
KEYWORDS: Eco-engineering, innovation, nature-based design, bio-enhancing, concrete