Mangrove Inspired Structures for Erosion Mitigation

Coastal protection techniques are used to preserve harbors, piers, beaches, nearshore coastal areas, offshore areas, and other infrastructure from sea wave/current/tide erosion effects. Primary techniques used to protect coastlines include the use of breakwater devices, beach nourishment/replenishment programs, and the construction of vegetation buffers or plantings. The major benefit of using vegetation, including trees, to protect shorelines and minimize erosion is that, unlike breakwater structures, vegetated areas absorb and dissipate waves and current energy, rather than reflecting or redirecting waves/currents onto beaches or neighboring properties as done with a breakwater system.

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University have developed a system for erosion control that mimics the root management of mangrove trees. This technology is a manmade erosion mitigation structure that traps and deposits sediment through the use of nine distinct cylinders arranged in a circular pattern. Proof-of-concept testing has been performed to support sediment capturing abilities of the device.