Marine Urbanisation and Eco-engineering

Marine urbanisation presents a global ecological and developmental challenge, having already resulted in significant foreshore modification via seawalls and other structures.  These artificial structures present a range of ecological problems, including replacement of natural habitats, loss of native species diversity, and the spread of introduced species. Currently, most artificial structures are built with a single purpose, such as coastal protection, energy or food production, but these structures can be designed and built to provide multiple functions, such as supporting biodiversity and water quality.

This research has pioneered a framework for multifunctional eco-engineering of new marine infrastructure that contributed to the National Marine Science Plan is being implemented by Lendlease in Sydney. Evidence collected from extensive surveys, literature review and empirical testing have provided guiding principles for foreshore development at the Sydney Bays Precinct. Novel eco-engineering applications are also being developed and retrofitted to existing seawalls at increasingly large spatial scales through the ten collaborating countries in the World Harbour Project and the Living Seawalls initiative in Sydney Harbour.

Dr. Katherine Dafforn: Eco-engineering in urban waterways from OceanImaging on Vimeo.

Living Seawalls

Follow us on Twitter: @LivingSeawalls and Instagram: @livingseawalls

Project videos

Mar 2020, Living Seawalls – Bringing Sydney Seawalls to life

Mar 2019, Living Seawalls Launch at Sawmillers Reserve

Feb 2019, Living Seawalls at the Ocean Lovers Festival

Jan 2019, Living Seawall installed at Sawmillers Reserve in Sydney Harbour

Jul 9, 2019 Living Seawall – An Ocean Conservation Project

June 2019 Volvo Living Seawall Thriving with Life

Jun 4, 2018 Living Seawall – re-thinking sustainability

Oct 31, 2018 Volvo Living Seawall in Sydney Harbour

News Media

Inner West Council, 2 November 2018: Bring back the Sydney Rock Oyster

Pittwater Online News, 4 November 2018: Living Seawalls installed on Sydney Harbour are Turning the Habitat Tide

The Australian, 29 Oct 2018: Mangrove mimicking magnets for Sydney Harbour Seawall Life

Channel 7 News, 30 Oct 2018: Living Seawall presented by Volvo at Milson’s Point

Mosman Daily, Apr 2019: Underwater homes a hit with marine life

ABC radio PM with Linda Mottram, 19 Jun 2019: Scientists create 3D printed tiles to help marine environments in Sydney Harbour thrive

ABC Drive radio with Richard Glover, 9 June 2020: Melanie Bishop talks about Living Seawalls

Channel 9 News, 10 Jun 2020: Under the Sea

City of Sydney Council News, 8 Jun 2020: Seawalls Bringing New Life to Our City Harbour

2SER, 21 Jun 2020: Living Seawalls Breathe Life Into Sydney Harbour

Canada Bay Council News, 18 Aug 2020: New Life for Drummoyne Wharf Seawall