POMPANO BEACH, Fla. /Florida Newswire/ — Scientists, government officials and citizens concerned about climate change and sea level rise will soon have a new source of data when Wahoo Bay in Pompano Beach launches. This underwater marine park will become a global incubator for the ocean’s ecosystem and will test the SEAHIVE™ marine and estuarine shoreline protection system, a research project funded by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) in collaboration with FDOT.
The team at Wahoo Bay collaborated with scientists and engineers from the University of Miami’s College of Engineering and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science with the hope that green engineering solutions will prove to be superior to traditional measures such as the controversial U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ proposal to wall-off Miami against water.
“There are a variety of potential solutions being discussed to combat sea level rise and protect areas like South Florida from the impacts of flooding, erosion and wave attack,” explained Rob Wyre, Chairman of Shipwreck Park. “However, many of the options can be detrimental to the overall ecosystem. Wahoo Bay will play a critical role in helping scientists and government officials test the SEAHIVE system, while the park itself will create an environment for local, national and international scientific experiments and collaboration.”
The SEAHIVE™ configuration for Wahoo Bay combines a modular concrete structure with adequate complexity and material composition with mangroves. The projection is that the system will not only reduce flooding and erosion in the area but will be hospitable to sea life, creating an eco-laboratory for Wahoo Bay visitors.
“We are very excited to be collaborating with the team at Wahoo Bay, said Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos, an assistant professor of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at the University of Miami who is part of the SEAHIVE™ development team. “They were very enthusiastic about implementing our research in Pompano Beach, and our discussions with Rob Wyre led to the idea of utilizing red mangroves in the design, resonating our ideas towards a ‘green-gray’ approach. Wahoo Bay will be an important test for the SEAHIVE system and will provide invaluable data as we search for the most viable solutions to preserve coastal areas.”
Wahoo Bay is a Shipwreck Park initiative that will be run by the City of Pompano Beach’s Parks and Recreation Department and supported by community volunteers.
This educational initiative is expected to begin construction this September and will cost more than $1 million to complete. Additional funding is required, donations can be made at https://wahoobay.org/donations-page/.