Artificial Surf Reefs in Ireland: A Sustainable Solution for Coastal Protection?

R.C. Kane and L.W. Gill (Ireland)


Artificial Reef, Recreation, Coastal Protection, Ireland


Development in coastal regions in Ireland is expanding. As such there is a corresponding demand for recreationalf acilities in these areas. Concurrently there is a need to protect existing beaches as they act as recreational hubsf or local communities. In line with this and moref avourable attitudes towards ‘soft engineering’a pproaches and sustainability, Artificial Surf Reefs (ASRs) have been examined as a possible solution tob each erosion. The potential for the application of suchm itigation schemes in Ireland is discussed herein. The ability of ASRs to function for the benefit of both recreation and shoreline protection has been assessed and a case study for Garrettstown Strand, a beach on the southern coast of Ireland, has been considered. The cases tudy encompassed an assessment of long term wave climate, a bathymetry survey and detailed numericalm odelling using DHI’s MIKE21 software. Furthermore the ecological and economic benefits / drawbacks of sucha structure have been examined. Overall, these results indicated that an ASR can be a viable option for use in Ireland.

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