Artificial reefs are used to prevent the erosion of shorelines from waves, tides, and currents. They also enhance recreational benefits and provide a habitat for species growth. However, many are comprised of non-environmentally friendly materials that can leach chemicals that harm wildlife and prevent growth. New technologies are needed to improve reefs and provide a habitable living environment for plants and animals.
Researchers at Florida Atlantic University have developed an artificial marine reef utilizing oyster shells enclosed in biodegradable bags made from abaca fibers. The bags are deposited on the seafloor to construct an artificial reef while promoting oyster growth for harvesting. A prototype of the system has been developed and tested within the laboratory, demonstrating the ability to reduce wave height.