April 20, 2015
BP Oil Spill Anniversary: Four Innovative Coastal Restoration Projects
Artificial oyster reefs are an increasingly popular weapon against storm surges and forceful waves. ORA Estuaries, a startup company in New Orleans, has designed a system that works a lot like Lego blocks. Heavy rings of concrete - weighing between 1,400 and 3,000 pounds - are piled as high and wide as necessary for each reef project. This 'stickability" sets the OysterBreak technology apart from other reef designs, says Tyler Ortego, ORA's founder and only full-time employee. Oysters grow on the rings, adding an extra layer of protection, and the reefs can be easily expanded over time to account for rising sea levels.