Innovative Solutions for Coastal Conservation: Sir Bani Yas Island’s Eco-Friendly Breakwater
As we stride forward on our Road to COP28, celebrating our environmental achievements since our launch in 1998, we’re excited to showcase the impactful initiatives that have contributed to sustainable practices.
Last week, we highlighted the pioneering efforts at Tees Barrage in the UK back in 2001. Today, we’re thrilled to spotlight the remarkable success story of Sir Bani Yas Island in the UAE in 2008, seamlessly continuing our journey along the timeline of environmental achievements.
Nestled on the exposed northern side of Sir Bani Yas Island, Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara faced a significant challenge:
How to create a beach for hotel guests without disrupting the natural environment?
Previous attempts to tame the rocky, wave-battered coast had proven futile. Initial plans for a rock fringing breakwater would have significantly impacted the area’s natural reef and hindered guests’ ocean views. That’s when a visionary alternative was sought.
Sustainable shoreline protection with Ecobag Coastal Protection Tubes
Renowned for our innovative and eco-conscious approach, even back then, we – together with our partners at International Coastal Management (ICM) – were brought in to create an alternative that wouldn’t compromise the island’s ecological ideology.
Our solution: A low crested segmented breakwater made from sand-filled geosynthetic containers, now known as our Ecobag Coastal Protection Tubes.
Our engineered design comprised over 80 containers, each 25 meters in length and filled with locally sourced sand, eliminating the necessity for rock excavation and extensive transportation. This approach significantly elevated sustainability across the board.
The use of geosynthetic coastal protection containers presented several advantages over traditional rock breakwaters. Notably, (1) it significantly reduced the project’s footprint, safeguarding sensitive hamour habitat areas off the hotel’s coast. (2) The softer structure also enhanced safety for beachgoers, while (3) its natural coloring and organic forms minimized visual impact on the environment.
The results were nothing short of remarkable. The once rocky foreshore of Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Hotel & Spa was transformed into a sandy beach shielded by an eco-friendly reef, perfectly aligning with the island’s commitment to conservation and preservation.
This unique low-crested reef mirrored natural fringing reefs, effectively breaking waves offshore and protecting the beach. Initial observations showed that the structure had become a habitat for marine life, fostering algae growth and providing shelter for fish and crustaceans.
Global impact: Advancing sustainable coastal development and the path to COP28
This groundbreaking success story is not just about an eco-friendly solution for one resort. It exemplified a larger trend — a shift toward sustainable, nature-conscious practices in coastal development.
As we pave the Road to COP28, this initiative stands as a testament to the power of innovation and collaboration in creating environmentally-friendly solutions. It underscores the importance of implementing such measures on a global scale to ensure the preservation of our natural habitats while meeting the needs of our communities and industries.
We remain committed to driving such initiatives and playing our part in the global movement towards a more sustainable future. Stay tuned as we continue to showcase our Road to COP28, highlighting our environmental commitments and achievements.
Ecocoast, The Marine Barrier Company, is the leader in engineered solutions for the protection of coastlines and waterways. Join us in our mission to solve the world’s most pressing coastal and marine challenges. Let’s work together towards transforming the future of marine protection, safety, and security! Contact us.