SUBMERGED BREAKWATERS AS ARTIFICIAL HABITATS
and CONSTANTINE MEMOS
Laboratory of Harbour Works, School of Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Greece, 5 Heroon Polytechneiou, 15780 Zografou
MSc (Tel: +3-210-7722851, Fax: +3-210-7722853, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Professor, (Tel: +3-210-7722851, Fax; +3-210-7722853, e-mail: email@example.com)
Artificial structures, such as pier pilings, breakwaters and seawalls are becoming commonfeatures of landscape in coastal waters of urbanised areas, replacing often considerable portions of natural habitats. Nowadays, the need to rehabilitate coastal ecosystems is beingincreasingly realized. This study examines the potential that coastal structures, such assubmerged breakwaters, have to support the habitation of some marine organisms.Preliminary results are very encouraging showing that it is possible, in many cases, tocombine the engineering with an ecological function of coastal structures.
Ecological engineering; Submerged breakwater; Artificial habitat; Hydrodynamicresponse
During the last decades, the urbanization of the coastal zone resulted to a massiveconstruction of coastal works, the pollution of the sea and the destruction of coastal habitatsand fishing grounds. To counterbalance this adverse situation, marine scientists areconstructing elements that are deployed in the sea in order to attract organisms, increase biodiversity, and restore habitats. These structures are called artificial reefs; they are placedon the seabed, deliberately to mimic some characteristics of a natural reef (Jensen, 1997).Structures that mimic characteristics of natural reefs in some fashion but have another primary purpose, such as coastal works, may be described as artificial habitats (Jensen, 2002).Marine scientists have identified the need to improve communication and developcollaboration between themselves and coastal engineers, to facilitate inclusion of worthwhileecological features in coastal marine structures (Jensen et al., 1998).Artificial reefs have been used in a variety of types throughout the world. Japan is theworld leader in coastal management schemes which focus on increasing the yield of seafood.In the USA emphasis is given on using ‘materials of opportunity’ and dominant aim is toimprove recreational angling catches. Artificial reefs have been developed in some Europeancountries, but there has been little communication between scientists so far. In addition,nowadays marine scientists investigate assemblages in artificial habitats and makecomparisons with natural habitats all over the world; Sydney Harbour, Australia (Connell &Glasby, 1999; Glasby, 1999; Chapman & Bulleri, 2003), San Diego, California USA (Davis