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TetraPOT: Green Sea Defence

These pots protect coastlines from strong currents and help to build an ecosystem at the same time.

Many coastal regions have to deal with problems like flooding and erosion. One way to deal with it is by sealine protection, where artificial seawalls are being constructed around the coastlines. This is often realized with huge stone structures which are neither pleasing to look at nor healthy for the ecosystem.

TetraPOT is inspired by the vision to create a stronger yet greener sea defence. Current artificial sea defence structures tend to be dislodged over time by the force of the ocean. They have also been criticized for destroying the natural scenery along coastlines. At the same time, a large percentage of the world’s mangroves have recently vanished because of the greenhouse effect. Mangroves have a strong and flexible root system and are adapted to life in harsh coastal conditions. They can also survive in salt water. The idea behind TetraPOT is to defend the coastlines from erosion with the help of mangroves.

The TetraPOTs are made of concrete. They come with plant seeds in a decomposable pot. As plants grow inside out from TetraPOT, the roots start to intertwine and gradually turn into a natural sea defence. Due to their structure, the TetraPOTs themselves also interlock with each other and form a structured web. Thus, the design not only prevents soil erosion but also helps to protect and create a natural habitat.

One TetraPOT weighs one ton and is 1.5 metres in length, width and height. Its designer Sheng-Hung Lee and his team plan to test them soon on Chong Ming Island near Shanghai.

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