Monday, February 24, 2014

Masonry to create sea life habitats

For decades mankind has recognized that saltwater fish habitats can be provided by creating dwelling structures on the ocean floor for sea life to find refuge, shelter and cover from storms, predators and –alas- humanity’s industrial-scale fishing nets.  Decrepit old ships which are no longer economically viable are often used toward this end; they are strategically located and sunk to create homes for fish and other marine life on the ocean floor.  These efforts have been quite successful in providing incubators for fish to grow, establish themselves, and become viable populations.  These structures also promote coral growth and create a richer variety of sea life than would otherwise be possible.

The masonry system described in this blog can serve to create fish habitats which are robust, inexpensive, easy to deploy and should last a very long time.  These structures also create an ideal framework for coral to establish itself and become viable independent colonies.  Biodiversity becomes more complete and is enriched by these artificial habitats. 

These structures can also help dampen the erosion effects of storm surges, wave action, and damaging currents near coast lines; helping to protect the shores from the eroding effects of storms and currents. 
This system would be most easily employed by being assembled on dry land, towed or hauled to its planned deployment area, and then sunk to the sea floor in a controlled manner.  Manmade habitats for sea life are proven consistently to have an almost immediate effect in promoting fish populations, sea life in general, and biodiversity in particular.

These sea life habitats have a positive economic effect by creating popular diving destinations for sport and recreational divers.  This particular masonry design is also expected to provide the additional economic benefit of reducing the damaging effects of storm surges, erosion, and denudation of coastal areas by dampening wave forces and attenuating storm surges.

This masonry system has not yet been deployed for this proposed application, but it is easy to imagine one of these structures on the sea floor: with fish entering and exiting the safety of this sheltered environment.  Cements and concretes appropriate for sea water have long been in use; it is a simple matter to use this technology for the inexpensive adoption of this system for creating  appropriate habitats for the promotion of sea life and biodiversity.

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