Coastal erosion is a global challenge, threatening populations and local economies. 70% of global coastlines are facing erosion challenges.
Current methods of building coastal defenses predominantly involve building large-scale concrete-block breakwaters as well as dredging sand to replenish beaches and natural dunes.
As storms are getting more frequent and more violent with climate change, this will require increased funding from governments that are already financially stretched.
Coral reefs are natural breakwaters, absorbing and deflecting wave energy and thereby protecting coastlines.
Conceptually, Mineral Accretion Technology ("MAT") could cost-effectively “grow” such barrier reefs using renewable energy and thereby providing a sustainable self-healing coastal defense.
Acting as living natural habitats, even in areas where corals do not grow, they would stimulate marine biodiversity, potentially provide a boost to fish stocks, and, combined with aqua-farming would provide additional sustainable coastal livelihoods.
With a multitude of renewable energy technologies now below USD $0.10/kWh, this would be eco-friendly, low carbon-footprint and significantly lower cost than traditional methods of marine construction using concrete.