The Natrx Oysterbreak (US Patent# 9144228B1) is a modular breakwater designed to support coastal protection through a high-strength modular design and special material additives to support biological growth. The system can be manufactured at large scale through local pre-cast manufacturers. The Oysterbreak design can be modified to support other key species such as corals, vegetative species upon request. Over 50,000 linear feet of storm-tested living shorelines have been deployed utilizing modular Oysterbreak technology.
As opposed to other traditional construction techniques such as rock revetments and seawalls, the Oysterbreak leaves ecological shoreline transitions intact, which supports fisheries and helps ensure stability for storm resilience. Natural growth provides additional strength development over time as shown in the plot below from a scientific test of an early installation at an erosional site at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.
The studies key findings included, paraphrased from Risinger, 2012:
Increased Height: Oyster shell height measurements of 50 cm were recorded after six months growth, with oyster counts exceeding 500 per m^2 on the artificial concrete modular breakwater reefs.
Increased Strength: A significant increase in ASTM 78 standards for flexural strength over time from an initial 28-day curing load of 100 lbs to loads of 479 lbs in six months and 1,344 lbs in two years.
Sediment Accretion: Pilot scale breakwater emplacements dominated by biological growth accumulated nearly 4 m3 of sediment over four years, representing over 300% of original mass deployed.
Nature based solutions can allow you to deploy material that you don’t pay for that helps protect essential habitat. The videos below take you through key elements of the Oysterbreak solution, and performance during the heavy 2020 hurricane season.
Figure above Ref: Risinger, J. D. 2012. “Biologically Dominated Engineered Coastal Breakwaters."