With climate change, storms are becoming more frequent and ferocious, leading to the accelerated erosion of coastlines. This leaves many coastal communities and low lying areas increasingly vulnerable to flooding and property damage.
Existing methods for protecting coastlines including seawalls, revetments, and dykes, are expensive, use a lots of concrete (a leading cause of CO2 emissions) and have a detrimental visual impact.
By contrast, CCell has engineered a reef structure that mimics nature, providing a sustainable and long term solution to coastline protection.
The rough suface of a reef absorbs energy from the passing waves, while their size causes larger waves to break as they pass over.
CCell Reefs are engineered to mimic these key features. We start with a modular structures, around which we grow calcareous rock using minerals from this sea - the exact same minerals that corals use.
The creation of calmer water behind the reef aids the accumulation of sands and sediment along the shore, growing beaches and establishing a buffer that protects properties and vegetation during storms. Just like a natural coral reef.
Leveraging machine learning alongside our wave and coastal model, we simulate hundreds of configurations across decades of sea-conditions to establish an optimal solution.
This analysis enables us to address complex coastlines, maximize the impact of the reef, and avoid disruption to neighboring areas.
Through sensors installed within the reef and 3G connectivity, the reef is continuously reporting on its state and the state of the environment around it. Complemented with regular manual inspections, we ensure that the CCell Reef is operating as efficiently as possible.
When damage does occur, our electronics systems detect this near instantly and automatically divert power to those areas that need it most.
The intricate complexities and robust design of our reefs provide an ideal habitat for marine life to become established. This is vital in supporting the regeneration of fish stocks and promoting the practice of sustainable fishing.
This provides on-site eduational opportunites for the local community to understand the impact of climate change, learn how individually we can make a difference and have direct involvement in marine conservation.
Through a combination of sensing and acoustic cues, we attract desired marine organisms to the reef, helping to create a vibrant and healthy marine ecosystem.
By improving the condition of the marine ecosystem, a mature CCell Reef will help spread coral polyps and repopulate the marine environment. Over time this will extend the benefits of coral restoration to a larger area.
With 50% of coral reefs across the globe already lost and 99% under severe threat, a CCell Reef represents an opportunity for coastal residents and communities to be pioneers in restoring the balance to our oceans.
In October 2016 the eye of Hurricane Matthew passed over Grand Bahama causing extensive damage. It was estimated that 95% of homes in Eight Mile Rock and Holmes Rock experienced severe damage from the high winds.
When we visited the region the following year, damage to coastal properties was almost exclusively limited to those areas that did not have a offshore reef.
Our findings showed that offshore reefs caused larger waves to break offshore and that this also created a build up of sand behind the reefs. As the water in these locations is shallower, this had the advantageous effect of limiting the strength of the waves during the hurricane.