Project Benefits

It is already being observed that Miami is being impacted by a higher sea level and is already particularly susceptible to flooding. In fact, the land in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach are counties that are at the lowest elevation in the whole state. This means that counties such as these need to implement multiple different adaptation measures and strategies to be resilient.

Future Implications

The built society is not the only realm feeling the impacts of a changing climate, the ocean ecosystem is also being degraded at an alarming rate. Coral reefs which are known to provide significant ecosystem services to both marine and human life. From 1975-2010, it is estimated that microalgae increased by 15%, while live coral decreased by 23%. This means that for coral reefs to survive, they will require some sort of human intervention in order to assist them with building resilience in order to survive.

Coral Reefs

The coral species selected for this project will be a species that is more resistent to heat. This coral will be transplanted to the "test bed" structures. The project structures will then provide a medium to promote coral reef restoration. In addition to coral reef restoration, the project seeks to demonstrate  other ecological and structural restoration benefits. They are:

  • Reduced flooding across Miami Beach via a reduction in water depths
  • Reduced wave attenuation 
  • Supports industries around Miami
  • Provides beach regeneration
  • provides a natural breakwater

While the "test bed" structures will only be in place for two years, it is important to realize that already existing coral reefs already provide these benefits to society. 


The benefits of a Healthy vs Degraded Coral Reef

How will the structures reduce wave attenuation?

The submerged structures reduce the wave height and dissipate the wave energy via three mechanisms: wave breaking, bottom friction and by perforating the wave's shape. The wave breaking mechanism is the most efficient way for the wave energy to be decreased. The proportion that is dissipitated depends on the reef morphology, the water depth and the offshore wave conditions. 

While the submerged structure would still be effective at dissipating the waves, the addition of the coral increases its efficacy.