Journal article

Between a rock and a hard place: Environmental and engineering considerations when designing coastal defence structures

LB Firth, RC Thompson, K Bohn, M Abbiati, L Airoldi, TJ Bouma, F Bozzeda, VU Ceccherelli, MA Colangelo, A Evans, F Ferrario, ME Hanley, H Hinz, SPG Hoggart, JE Jackson, P Moore, EH Morgan, S Perkol-Finkel, MW Skov, EM Strain Show all


University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by European Commission

Awarded by project "MarUrbe-Sustainable Urban Development: solutions to promote the biological and conservation value of marine urban structures"

Funding Acknowledgements

The support of the European Commission through FP7.2009-1, Contract 244104-THESEUS ("Innovative technologies for safer European coasts in a changing climate",, is gratefully acknowledged. LBF, KB, AE, SPGH, JJ, PM, EHM, RCT & SJH have also been supported by the URBANE project (Urban research on biodiversity on artificial and natural coastal environments: enhancing biodiversity by sensitive design, funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. SPF was supported by project "MarUrbe-Sustainable Urban Development: solutions to promote the biological and conservation value of marine urban structures" (EU-FP7-PEOPLE-2007-2-1-IEF-219818). A Fulbright Fellowship supported LA while writing the paper.The authors wish to thank Rebekah Newstead, Steven Newstead, Adam Kennerley, Sarah Lass, Alex Ventura, Eric Simon-Lledo, Bas Koutstaal, Jos van Soelen and Jeroen van Dalen, Valentina Nicotera, Ljiliana Ivesa, and Andrej Jaklin for assistance in the field and input at various stages of the work. We wish to thank Hywel Jones & Dyfed Rowlands (Conwy Council), Huw Davies & Barry Davies (Gwynedd Council) for permission to implement enhancements; Ian Leatherbarrow (RPC Concrete Solutions, and SEACAMS ( for funding the construction of the BIOBLOCK; Ian Nicholls (Bangor University) for building the mould for the BIOBLOCK; David Roberts (Bangor University) for photographs of the BIOBLOCK. We would like to gratefully acknowledge the help by students of the HZ University of Applied Science (the Netherlands) for setting up the gabions in the Eastern Scheldt. We wish to thank Tom Ysebaert and Brenda Walles who provided us with the opportunity to set-up the experiment within a larger experiment of "Building with Nature". We would like to thank Orlando Venn, Martin Coombes and Larissa Naylor for assistance with the work in Shaldon, South Devon. We thank two anonymous referees for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript.