Maximising the ecological value of hard coastal structures using textured formliners by Mairi MacArthur

With human beings causing immeasurable damage to the world, when it comes to reducing that harm every possible measure must be taken. For example, the biodiversity of the ocean is infinitely important, because it leads to the creation of oxygen in much the same way as a forest would do. In this paper, a new method of cultivating that biodiversity, or ecological value is put forward.

As it explains, with climate crisis-related flooding becoming more and more of a problem, there are consequently more structures created within coastal waters in order reduce the risk of floods. But, then, surely unnatural structures in the ocean are going to reduce the ecological value of those areas and then only further contribute to the overall problem?

Well, that’s where the keen perspective of this paper comes in. When created in a certain way, with more complex structures that more closely resemble natural surfaces, these structures can actually become homes to different forms of aquatic life, rather than just taking up space in a place where different life forms should be able to live. This is rigorously demonstrated through tests on various different surfaces over a period of time.

It’s a really important bit of research and something that I’d never have considered myself. Should the creators of those hard coastal structures heed the discoveries of this paper, that could contribute quite a lot of ecological value to coastal regions. We can only hope that, for once, people listen to the scientists.

Reading-wise, it surprisingly digestible for a scientific academic paper, so if you’re into that kind of thing, do give it a look. This will, I hope, be the first of many academic papers to appear in my liberally named ‘book review’ section.

Rating: 8.5/10

Read it here.

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