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A green engineering system to mitigate wave impacts and protect against climate change while creating habitat.
SEAHIVE® is a shoreline-protection system based on 12-foot hexagonal concrete tubes. Perforations on the sides of the concrete units allow water to flow within the system, dissipating wave energy while increasing macro-scale structural complexity. The increased structural complexity of the system, combined with sustainable concrete mixtures and non-corrosive reinforcement, enhances its biocompatibility with local ecosystems. The system was developed by the University of Miami and is currently produced with innovative materials and advanced manufacturing methods, including concrete 3D printing by 1Print, LLC.

Miami Beach

Coral reefs act as natural submerged breakwaters dissipating wave energy through wave breaking and friction. However, recent coral reef declines have resulted in high coral mortality, loss of topography, and associated losses in the protective services healthy coral reefs provide to shorelines. The University of Miami (UM) Laboratory for INtegrative Knowledge (U-LINK) project, entitled “Identifying, prioritizing, and validating green infrastructure approaches to enhance coastal resilience” aims to enhance shoreline protection against wave action and storm surge using hybrid artificial coral reefs strategically designed, built, and deployed to maximize shoreline protection. The project includes in-situ ecological studies and laboratory testing of hybrid coral reefs that combine grey (cement) and green (corals) components in the SUrge STructure Atmosphere INteraction (SUSTAIN) Facility, as well as the implementation of a data-driven test bed offshore of North Beach Oceanside Park, Miami Beach, Florida.

Pompano Beach

Seawalls are a common hard solution utilized to improve community safety in the face of high-intensity storms and flooding. However, such structures typically do not provide a hospitable environment for biodiversity; seawalls on average support 23% lower biodiversity and 45% fewer organisms than natural shorelines. Conversely, "living shorelines" are often considered as the ideal eco-friendly protection barrier but they are not generally applicable in areas with small footprint availability and/or harsh wave conditions and high storm surges. In such areas, improvements over traditional solutions in both engineering and ecological performance are possible with novel green engineering solutions. This project explores an ongoing SEAHIVE® pilot installation as a paradigm of green engineering protection. SEAHIVE® is an engineered marine and estuarine protection system under development at the University of Miami (UM). The working hypothesis is that by reviewing the design of the system proposed, assessing its as-built engineering and ecological performance through in-situ measurements, and working closely together with stakeholders in the analysis of the related legal and governance frameworks, key parameters, challenges and ways around them for the development, deployment and acceptance of novel green engineering solutions, such as SEAHIVE®,  will be identified.

For more information, contact Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos.