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General Press Releases
Waterfront Development

Port of San Diego and ECOncrete to Test New Design of Bio-Enhancing Concrete Tide Pools Along Harbor Island

The Port of San Diego has approved a Blue Economy Incubator pilot project that will test a new design of concrete tide pools by ECOncrete Inc., a company that aims to bring coastal and marine concrete infrastructure to life while reducing the ecological footprint of such infrastructure (seawalls, breakwaters, piers, etc.).

ECOncrete’s new Coastal Star tide pool has a star-like appearance and is designed to interlock with other Coastal Star tide pools, potentially serving as a replacement for traditional riprap to provide ecological armoring and shoreline stabilization while also creating well-defined local ecosystems that mimic natural rock pools. The tide pools are made with an environmentally sensitive, low carbon concrete mixture tailored to the environment in which they’re installed. Additionally, the concrete’s chemical composition along with the complex textures and features in the design provide for a favorable environment in which to grow a rich diversity of sea plants, animals and organisms.

At the start of its three-year pilot project with the Port, ECOncrete will install 72 Coastal Star tide pools across three sites along Harbor Island’s shoreline.

“ECOncrete’s Coastal Star tide pools have great potential to provide many benefits for San Diego Bay. The Port looks forward to seeing if they can provide shoreline stabilization, help guard against coastal flooding, and improve the ecology of our bay water. As a bonus, residents and visitors can come down to Harbor Island and check out what kind of sea life takes residence in the tide pools,” said Chairman Garry Bonelli, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners.

“ECOncrete is proud to lead the efforts of ecological enhancement together with the Port of San Diego and to bring sustainable, blue technology to the state of California. We are eager to help protect the city’s coastlines while increasing resilience and rejuvenating the marine ecosystem of the area. The newly developed Coastal Star tide pool in partnership with the Port of San Diego will help change the way our future coastlines look and function,” said Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, ECOncrete CEO.

Every six months after installation, ECOncrete will evaluate the viability of the tide pool units as an ecological armoring replacement to traditional riprap. Results may demonstrate an innovative win-win approach to coastal development, bridging the need for coping with climate change and urbanization while sustaining valuable marine life.

In addition to concrete tide pools, ECOncrete also produces seawalls, bio-active wall systems, modular concrete armor units that can serve as breakwaters and dykes, and more.

ECOncrete is the eighth project approved under the Port’s Blue Economy Incubator. Established in 2016, the incubator acts as a launching pad for sustainable aquaculture and Port-related blue technology ventures by removing barriers to entrepreneurs and providing key assets and support services focused on pilot project facilitation. The goal of the program is to build a portfolio of new businesses that can deliver multiple benefits to the whole Port community such as fisheries enhancement, ecosystem restoration, water quality improvements, environmental monitoring, and education and outreach.

ECOncrete was founded in 2012 by two marine biologists Dr. Ido Sella and Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel with over 15 years of experience in sustainable management of coastal and marine infrastructure. ECOncrete’s stated mission is to provide fully constructive concrete products, designs, and practical solutions that reduce the ecological footprint of coastal and marine infrastructure such as seawalls, breakwaters, and piers, as well as other urban facilities while enhancing their structural performance. The company offers a unique multidisciplinary blend of marine ecologists, biologists, geologists, concrete experts, engineers, and designers. ECOncrete brings concrete infrastructure to life using a suite of bio-enhancing concrete admixtures tailored for different environments, cast with science-based forms and liners that create complex textures and design features inducing growth of rich, diverse flora and fauna.

About THE Port of San Diego

The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.

About Port of San Diego Waterfront Development

Port of San Diego Waterfront Development contributes to the continuous prosperity of the local economy.

From Real Estate to Aquaculture and Blue Tech, the Port invests in major redevelopment and community infrastructure, so businesses in our region have the opportunity to stay competitive in the global marketplace.