Concrete is one of the oldest building materials on earth. Yet, we continue to find new uses for this ancient material. For example, have you heard of dumping concrete in the ocean — on purpose? Precast concrete as artificial reefs is not as farfetched as it may seem at first glance.
It’s true. Concrete can be used successfully to help create artificial reefs. And while concrete as artificial reefs may seem strange at first glance … is it, really?
Something Old, Something New for the Ocean Blue
The truth is that concrete looks and acts like natural reef formations, making it a valuable contributor to a unique landscape for marine life in all parts of the ocean.
These concrete reefs provide safe shelter space for sea animals, giving them a stronger ecosystem that allows them to thrive.
How does concrete work as an artificial reef?
One important thing to keep in mind: Concrete is not aimlessly dumped into the ocean to create artificial reefs. There is a lot of planning that goes into this process.
The first and most important step is to put the concrete through deep cleaning and inspection phases to ensure there are no pollutants added to the ocean water.
Next, they are introduced into the ocean ecosystems in a careful way. Before long, they will be covered in corals, sponges, algae, and other sea life that can make their home in the ocean.
Once the concrete artificial reefs are installed, they are monitored regularly by professionals to ensure they remain healthy for sea animals and wildlife.
Concrete Artificial Reefs: Planning
When planning for an artificial reef, it is important to keep a few things in mind.
First, the concrete needs to be stable enough to weather large storms. It needs to also provide a lot of structural complexity to attract a variety of fish and other sea life. Like natural coral reefs, where many of us go to scuba dive, a concrete artificial reef can also attract and increase fish.
Concrete is often a good choice — and in many cases, the best option — because it can be crafted into nearly any shape or size, and it lasts a long time underwater.
This technique has been used for many years to help keep ocean life growing and replicating, and it can be used in oceans around the world.
At Rogue Valley Precast, we can work with reef managers and other marine professionals to ensure they get the type of concrete they need for their artificial reef planning.
In addition to the work we do in the United States (precast concrete production for casting concrete structural elements, architectural panels for office buildings, retaining walls for commercial buildings, and more), precast products and prestressed concrete can have multiple applications.
Finally, concrete construction introduces quality control and energy efficiency into the production process and the materials themselves.
Contact our experienced team about your artificial reef project to learn more about the benefits of precast concrete.