[Coral-List] floating islands

Mark Tupper mtupper at coastal-resources.org
Wed Sep 5 12:00:13 EDT 2012

Hi Karl,

I talked to Geoff Cooper, an engineer who manages the Ports and Harbours Group at Klohn Crippen Berger, a global engineering/environmental design and consulting firm. He told me that 
building such islands is actually not difficult, and there are increasing numbers of floating ports and terminals being proposed in areas where shipping traffic has increased beyond 
the service limits of land-based ports. One such terminal was recently proposed here in Vancouver. However, maintaining these structures is a different matter and the Vancouver project 
was scrapped due to the risks involved. Floating structures require very calm water and would normally be built within a semi-enclosed bay or within the lee of a land mass. The 
Maldives are a chain of small atolls with no land high enough to create a windbreak and they are occasionally subject to typhoons. Moreover, in tropical marine settings, the lifespan 
of steel and especially concrete used to build these structures is greatly reduced as compared to colder temperate oceans. It was Geoff's opinion that a large floating island in the 
Maldives would not be viable.

>From a biological perspective, I don't see how mooring a floating island "for stability" reduces the effect on sea life. If an island large enough to house a golf course and resort 
were moored over a reef area, the shading effect would probably kill the corals even if there was no physical disturbance. Also, without any kind of littoral or sublittoral substrate 
connecting the floating island to the seafloor, it would not be able to develop fringing reefs or other tropical nearshore environments in the same way as a natural island, so 
ecologically it wouldn't replace anything other than space for human activities and maybe roosting birds.


Dr. Mark Tupper, Director of Environmental Science
Coastal Resources Association
16880 87 Ave., Surrey, BC, Canada V4N 5J4
Email: mtupper at coastal-resources.org
Tel. 1-604-576-1674; Mobile: 1-604-961-2022

Philippines Office: c/o Ricky Mijares
Poblacion, Sagay, Camiguin, Philippines 9103
Tel. 63-927-921-9915

On Tue Sep  4 20:40 , "Karl B Fellenius"  sent:

>Some folks may be interested in hearing about this. I have my doubts. Can anyone shed any light on if this island-building project is going ahead, or if its even a viable idea? Even 
so, they don't mention any facilities for locals to relocate from the overpopulated Male.
>      Trends & Technology    
>  a.. $500M plan to replace the Maldives' sinking islands with man-made ones
>  Amid fears that many of its 1,190 islands will soon be submerged, the Maldives has formed a joint venture with architectural firm Dutch Docklands International to build the world's 
biggest series of artificial floating islands in the Indian Ocean. The $500 million project will include a convention center, hotel, yacht club and solar-powered golf course. The 
islands will be attached to the sea floor by cables or mooring piles for stability, reducing the effect on sea life.
>Karl Fellenius, MRM
>karl at fellenius.net
>skype michka97
>Jalan Umalas Kauh n. 76
>Bali 80117 
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

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