Port of Vigo’s new ECOncrete infrastructure thriving with marine life

Port of Vigo’s new ECOncrete infrastructure thriving with marine life.

Marine life from crabs to sea cucumbers are flourishing along the seawalls at the Port of Vigo’s Living Ports Project.

The Living Ports Project includes bio-enhancing seawalls and a coastal protection system, as well as a first-of-its-kind underwater observatory, which enables the public to watch the marine ecosystems thrive.

ECOncrete is leading the project using nature positive marine technology integrated by local contractors, using locally sourced concrete.

Newly released underwater monitoring data reveals thriving ecosystems only three months after its official opening.

ECOncrete CEO and co-founder, Dr. Ido Sella, said: “This new monitoring and underwater camera footage is incredible  In just three short months, this Living Ports Project at the Port of Vigo has become exactly that – a living port, teeming with healthy marine life.  

“These undersea images are another evidence of ECOncrete’s technology ability to attract and foster marine biodiversity and support vibrant ecosystems in working waterfronts.” 

Carlos Botana, head of the sustainability department of the Port of Vigo and coordinator of the project, said: “I’m very pleased with the daily evolution of the submarine biodiversity that has been thriving in the infrastructure promoted by ECOncrete, installed in the Port of Vigo. 

"The amount of life that has generated is surprising and it is still early days, as in the coming months, the new marine ecosystems will keep flourishing and promoting the biodiversity in the Port of Vigo.”

 Various forms of marine species including green and brown algae; barnacles; crabs; limpets; worms; sea cucumbers; snails; starfish and tunicates are now living on the Port of Vigo seawalls made with ECOncrete. These images demonstrate a significant ecological uplift in comparison to standard marine structures.   

At the moment, 70% of marine infrastructure worldwide is concrete based, which is not habitable for many types of marine organisms and requires expensive maintenance – to the tune of around €2.2 trillion per year. By incorporating ECOncrete's nature-positive technology into local concrete, a highly effective biodiversity performance can be achieved, which not only promotes ecological sustainability but also reinforces and strengthens the structures.

The Living Ports Project led by ECOncrete is delivered by an interdisciplinary consortium that includes Cardama Shipyards and Denmark Technical University (DTU), and the Port of Vigo is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The project, inaugurated in March 2023, showcases the next generation of port infrastructure, and responsible marine construction methodologies. 

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