In response to Superstorm Sandy, the Living Breakwaters project on the southern shoreline of Staten Island, launched by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will provide a multifaceted approach to reducing and reversing the damaging effects of erosion and storm waves. The program is an innovative coastal green infrastructure that will also serve to improve the ecosystem health of Raritan Bay, encourage stewardship of coastlines and generally enhance people’s experience of the shoreline in this part of Staten Island.
Consisting primarily of 2,400 linear feet of near-shore breakwaters, partially submerged structures built of stone and ecologically-enhanced concrete units, this infrastructure will reduce and eventually reverse the negative impact of erosion and storm waves, and will also provide a range of habitat spaces for oysters, fin fish and other marine species. Weeks is part of a multi-disciplinary team and is responsible for the transportation and placement of the breakwater materials. We have deployed our W537 Equilibrium crane, accompanied by floating amphibious excavators and barges to construct this armored coastal infrastructure which is composed of rubble mound (rock) structures with a stone core, a base layer (bedding stone or marine mattress, depending on the breakwater) and outer layers consisting of armor stones and ecologically enhanced concrete armor units. Once the breakwaters are constructed, the Billion Oyster Project will install live oysters to inhabit the “reef ridges” and “reef streets” creating a diverse marine habitat environment.