The Blue Innovation Awards are organised by Blauwe Cluster whose aim is to promote sustainable economic activity at sea. They act as a partner connecting companies, knowledge centres and government institutions to facilitate knowledge sharing and technology. These awards recognise inspiring initiatives from organisations that actively work in implementing innovation and sustainability. The intent is to bring these achievements to public attention and recognition.
In total, the Blauwe Cluster presented five awards. The Blue Innovation Swell-award for cooperation activities went to our innovative cooperation with partners ILVO, DEME, SIOEN and VLIZ within the Coastbusters project.
This project, which ran from April 2017 until May 2020, focused on construction of biogenic reefs used as additional tools for ecosystem-based flood defense.
Climate change is causing rising sea levels with increased frequency and strength of storms and coastal storm surges. Every year, storms deposit thousands of tonnes of beach sand because of coastal deposition. Coastbusters therefore went in search of a nature-oriented approach to defend our coasts and retain the sand. Our specialist team of experts has developed pioneering approaches to the usability of biogenic reefs as additional tools for ecosystem-based flood defence. They break wave energy and form a barrier to beneficial sand deposition washed away by storm action.
Three biobuilders species were tested: Marine Flora Reef (seaweed & seagrass), Lanice Reef (sand mason worm & enhancement of the larval settling process) and Bivalve Reef (blue mussel).
A new Coastbusters 2.0 project is already underway, examining and monitoring the promising Bivalve Reef concept.
Copyright Pictures G-STIC, special thanks to de Blauwe Cluster.