Man-made tide pools in Port of Fontvieille a success

Artificial tide pools were created in 2019 at water level in front of the Fontvieille Port as part of the government’s ongoing ecological restoration programme. The results so far have been encouraging.

Tide pools can be likened to underwater rain forests in that they harbour a huge number of plant and animal species, with each playing an important role. Seaweeds, small crabs, anemones, small fish, mussels and many other creatures can make a tide pool their home.

As such, the Department of the Environment installed five tide pool-esque riprap reefs in Fontvieille’s port back in 2019. Since then, they have been monitored to ensure their environmental effectiveness, and the first results have just been released, showing the colonisation of several species by mere sight checks.

ECOncrete and the Monaco Department of the Environment worked together to install a set of coastal armour units along the Port’s rocky riprap. They add structural support to the riprap, while creating an intertidal habitat that’s absent from traditional rubble mound revetments and breakwaters. Initial monitoring results show significant ecological differences between ECOncrete technologies and control rock plots, including multiple invertebrate, fish, and algae species, according to the manufacturer.

A biological monitoring session with an. “Awareness panel” was held on 18th May at the Jean Charles Rey dyke, where they located and explained the interest of these riprap reefs as part of the restoration programmes Clean Ports and Clean Ports Active in Biodiversity.

Photo: L Aquilina – Environmental Department