Reefs for coastal protection and amenity

The sea is rising, millions of people live on the coast, fish are becoming scarcer and city sewerage and drainage is becoming more expensive. Such a recipe for disaster, potentially with millions of people impacted, has never been seen in modern human history. Coastal protection is becoming more urgent, when resources and funding are simultaneously becoming less readily available.

The need to bring robust science into solving this massive global problem has never been more necessary. At Sanctuary Beach, the environment is given priority. Every option is tested using sophisticated computer models.

Globally there are three main categories of coastal protection methodologies: beach nourishment, rock walls or groynes. We suggest that insensitive options should not be adopted. Better blended solutions can be found.

















 Offshore Reefs


At Sanctuary Beach, we provide the expertise for "offshore reefs". We are global specialists and Dr Black was the first in the world to introduce the concept of offshore, multi-purpose reefs for coastal protection and amenity. On a well-designed reef, people may snorkel and fish life is improved. At the same time, the reef provides protection to the beach and we can incorporate a quality surfing break. Such solutions are preferred by most people because they meet the strenuous demands of the myriad stakeholders who want a better future for their beaches. Sanctuary Beach is currently designing and building a reef in India to protect one of India's most iconic shorelines. In another project, our consultants are advising the Asia Development Bank on ways to mitigate climate change along the coast.


Many people like reefs because they can be offshore, underwater and producing benefits beyond coastal protection. The reefs mimic nature, unlike rock walls which bury the beach being saved, or groynes which can be unsightly, deflect sediment offshore around their tips and cause negative downstream effects.










The science has shown that reefs control the waves which are the cause of erosion, rather than putting a "plaster" on the effects by burying the eroding beach in rocks. Indeed, reefs can save the beach, while rock walls often just save the land.

Sanctuary Beach takes reefs from scientific design right through to completed onstruction. They are designed to be modular so that changes to the environment, sea level rise, damage or sinkage can be readily rectified.

Please note that reefs are not always the solution and sometimes it's necessary to blend various options. We also note that all structures in the sea require maintenance and so we present every client with a maintenance programme to manage expectations and budgets.



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