Weeks Marine Barge 537 with E-Crane 3000 Series Setting Living Breakwaters off Staten Island
Sea defense system protects shoreline and promotes marine ecosystems.
The Weeks Marine 537 rig, with it’s one of a kind E-Crane 3000 Series crane installed on board, towers over the shoreline just south of Staten Island, New York.
From the beachhead, onlookers see the massive machine place rocks below the water’s surface with surgical precision. Nearby mariners and fishermen catch a view from the water, as the operator places architecturally designed concrete elements atop the boulders with the flair of a roman sculptor.
But this series of eight breakwaters is much more than a fancy stone wall. “Living Breakwaters” is an innovative coastal green infrastructure project that aims to increase physical, ecological, and social resilience.
Biologists and ecologist worked closely with marine architects and landscape engineers to develop a “Living” set of breakwaters. A unique set of eight layered breakwaters that would not only protect the shoreline but promote the revival of the local marine habit that had long been decayed from overfishing, erosion, and pollution from nearby urban areas.
Each breakwater is constructed with habitat enhancing features such as tidepools, armor units with nested oyster beds, and reef ridges. Each element is designed to promote marine life, from birds to seals to snails to fish. Upon completion, selected armor stones will be seeded by the Billion Oyster Project, a local organization dedicated to returning the natural oyster occupation of New York Harbor.
Featured Title photograph
Courtesy of Weeks Marine Inc.