Our key focus is ‘better design below the waterline’ which we believe is an essential component of sustainable design and preventing a decline in aquatic biodiversity often associated with development.
Coastal infrastructure adds significant surface area and physical structure to the sea - yet its rarely designed to support or benefit marine life. We believe the future is in smart design of such structures so that they increase the return on investment by providing surfaces and structure that create opportunities for nature and increase fish stocks and help them become more resilient to exploitation and maintain or even enhance biodiversity.
The International Association of Dredging Contractors (IADC) refers to this concept as 'building with nature'.
Its all about building in a way that also 'creates opportunities for nature'. Coastal housing developments such as those in the Middle East can be designed to become biosanctuaries that actually produce fish for the region.
We can provide design guidelines or products to help you:
Excellent progress has been made with sustainable design above the waterline therefore our role is to help you capitalise on better design below the waterline whether it be for meeting regulatory approvals, facilitating permits, corporate responsibility or to increase the project's value to stakeholders, community or environment.
Capitalising upon structure below the waterline is a bit like maximising the value of a basement or underground car park in an office block. Cities would have significant problems if developers didn't maximise the use of land by including below ground assets. And developers would have reduced returns financially if they didn't. Our philosophy is that traditional design of coastal structures is like building an office block and locking away the basement.
Consider us your underwater architects and aquascapers.
We can increase the value of your development by improving the marine environment and services provided or by adding unique underwater features.
We provide customised services to meet your needs, as well as:
Contact us now to discuss your specific project needs.
Fish Friendly Marinas
Here's an article by SOI Director David Lennon in the Dec issue of the Marina Industry Associations magazine.
>> Fish friendly marina design
SOI can provide the full suite of services from assessing marinas and recommending strategies to increase fish habitat, to providing and deploying the most appropriate fish habitat. Retrofitting a marina is always the most costly option so if you are designing are marina, get in touch with us and we can show you the most cost and ecologically effective strategies to boost biodiversity and fish numbers.
Reef CPR for the GBR!
SOI is partnering with Cairns based 'Sustainable Reefs' and Southern Cross University in order to establish a Reef CPR (coral preservation and restoration) program that includes a research and training centre and coral adoption and planting program that will allow the tourism industry to play a role in helping the reef and to help fill gaps in knowledge about effective restoration strategies for impacted areas on the Great Barrier Reef. This knowledge will then be used in training programs to build the capacity of the dive industry and key government partners to respond to ship groundings, cyclone damage and general reef breakage occuring at high use sites. In effect it is pioneering a new philosophy of recognising that while the reef is traditionally resilient, it is unable to quickly recover from the huge stresses we are placing on it. Just as we have maintenance programs in land based parks, we now must do the same with our marine parks.
The program covers the science, art and business of restoration which is key to its success.
The Adopt-a-Coral program spearheaded by coral mascot 'Ari' will allow tourists, locals and anyone internationally to contriibute to saving the GBR.
Tourists, especially those snorkelling and diving can leave the reef in better condition than they found it! Therefore turning tourism into a tool for reef preservation. Considering the huge tourism value of the GBR...its the least we can do!
Contact us if you'd like to be involved.
Qater reef constructed to offset port impacts
SOI prepared the coral mitigation plan for the new Doha Port to reduce impacts of this important project and this included coral relocation and construction of a purpose designed artificial reef.
SOI's sister company Reef Arabia based in Bahrain, manufactured, delivered and deployed the concrete reef units for this mitigation requirement.
Summary of projects and product development, 2012
Here's our quick overview of some key projects and new constructed reef units we've worked on in 2012.
>>Read key highlights of 2012 here
Culturally Sensitive Artificial Reef Design
Local customs and architecture are considered when planning new buildings...as underwater architects, we believe there are benefits of doing the same when designing a reef.
But its not just about designing a pretty replica for the seabed! The design must also appeal to the marine life of the area.
We describe a good example of how this can be done in our Tech Note 4 - download here .
World's First 3D printed Artificial Reef!
In a world first, an advanced construction sized 3D printer has been used by SOI to revolutionise artificial reef design and produce reef units that look and function like a natural reef, a major step forward in a bid to restore lost and damaged reefs around the world.
>> Read the full media release here
Latest underwater footage from Bahrain artificial reef program
Reef 6, eight weeks after deployment.
Australia Unlimited features SOI
Australian innovation and can-do efficiency is restoring the world’s ocean reefs and creating sustainable marine environments.
Read this article and the background on why we do what do >>click here .
By Kristie Kellahan
We have a winner!
Sustainable Ocean Innovation Award 2012
...and the award goes to...GhostNets Australia for their work in northern Australia tackling the serious problem of lost fishing nets called 'ghost nets'.
The group has found ghost nets measuring 10km long and recorded a myriad of marine species that get entangled as the nets drift along with the currents. The destruction caused by ghost nets continues as they near shore, often wrapping themselves around delicate coral reefs and coastal mangrove systems.
"The GhostNets Australia program is a fantastic example of innovation in action"l.
>>Read the media release here: Sustainable Ocean Innovation Award 2012
SOI constructs first 'cod cave' to help save Murray cod
Murray cod are Australia's largest freshwater fish and overfishing and loss of essential habitat has decimated their numbers. SOI has been contracted to design and construct a concrete unit to help restore some of the essential breeding habitat the fish require. September surveys found a 1.03m Murray Cod right on top of a cod cave so that was very exciting and confirmation they are working. Sidescan image by ACT Government.
SOI wins 2 Year Contract - Bahrain
SOI and partner Reef Arabia have won a two year contract to design, build and monitor 10 artificial reefs around Bahrain.
>>Further details and photos of deployment of first reef in Bahrain
>>Bahrain newspaper article in Arabic
SOI Completes Coral Mitigation Plan for New Doha Port
SOI conducted the necessary surveys and prepared the coral mitigation plans for the New Doha Port and naval base construction which includes a 10km long shipping channel and impact footprint of 4.5km2. Our mitigation plan included accurate coral surveys to quantify the size, type and number of corals within the imperiled and threatened zones, and detailed recommendations on relocation methodology, relocation sites and compensatory artificial reefs to offset loss of productive reef structure.