According to the European Code of Conduct for Coastal Zones http://www.coastalguide.org/code/cc.pdf there are two types of approach to coastal defense:
Hard Engineering: establishment of structures which aim to resist the energy of the waves and tides. Such structures include: breakwaters and seawalls designed to oppose wave energy inputs, groins designed to increase sediment storage on the shore, and flood embankments and barrages designed as water tight barriers.
Soft Engineering: Soft engineering: establishment of elements which aims to work with nature by manipulating natural systems which can adjust to the energy of the waves, tides and wind. This approach has economic benefits while minimizing the environmental impact of traditional engineering structures.
Aquaterra is the first Greek Company associated with the design of New and Efficient Soft Protection Methods on Erosion Control, according to the recommendations of the following European and Global Organizations:
- European Union On Coastal Conservation (EUCC)
- Group of Specialists on Coastal Protection, (PΕ-S-CO)
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC)
- European Commission \Environmental Agency
- European Environmental Agency,(EEA)
The Permitting procedure for Aquaterra’ s Applications at a Coastal Zone under Greek Legislation requires the elaboration of the following studies:
1. Coastal Protection study and Engineering Design: The geometrical model of the study area is generated from field surveys of coast topography and sea bathymetry. After implementing field data, Numerical Simulations on current flow circulation and sediment transport are applied to evaluate the Hydrodynamic Conditions of the coast of interest.
As soon as the coast model is evaluated, a variety of different climate conditions is examined in respect with different structure dimensioning. For the final structural design, the Factor of Stability of designed structures exceeds the value of two (FS≥2.0) the greatest of almost all traditional Coastal structures (which rarely exceed the value of FS=1.50).
All Simulations are running in Aquaterra’s Computing Workstation via Parallel Processing Software (High Performance Computing/HPC). Optimized Soft Protection measures are designed with the minimum Environmental Impact to the wider Coastal zone (Upstream, Downstream). Any Structure that functions as a barrier with adverse impact on the Coastal Zone is excluded from the design procedure. Sediment transport is simulated for various climate conditions in accordance to medium-long term shore stabilization.
2. Environmental Permitting: the Environmental Permitting follows the issued Greek Environmental Legislation.
Construction of Coastal Protection works: Implementation of Technical Measures / Constructions follows the technical specifications set by the engineering design procedure (Soft Protection Methods). Environmental disturbance is kept to a minimum during field works. No Bed scraping occurs during installation or any kind of bed anchoring. No heavy equipment is needed while the main construction phases are completed by qualified personnel. Cost is limited thanks to specialized construction techniques. Installation time is also kept to a minimum of a few weeks. The life-time of the designed structures exceeds 20 years based on several previous (functioning) applications in Greece and abroad. During the years a considerable amount of information is provided on how these applications work under real coastal conditions on Erosion Control. This know-how is used as a feedback for our present application designs.
Soft Shore Protection Applications in Greek coasts are found in:
- Theologos Coast, Rhodes Island, Aegean sea (since 1994)
- Gera Coast, Mytilene, Lesvos Island, (since 1996)
- Kato Loutro Coast, Korinthia, Peloponnese (since 2004 )
- “Alexandra Beach” Coast, Potos, Thasos Island (since 2007)
- Oitylo Coast (Oitylo Hotel ), Lakonia, Peloponnese (since 2006)