Tide Pool Units

Tide Pool Units are a part of the Aquatic Habitat measures to address flood risk.


DESCRIPTION: Prefabricated tide pool units can be incorporated into shoreline protection structures in the intertidal zone. They are made of concrete and designed to mimic natural rock tide pools.
ECOncrete tide pool ©ECOncrete, Inc. (Vendor)

ECOLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
WATER LEVEL RANGE: Intertidal

SHORELINE LOCATION:
Shoreline


DESIGN LIFE
ADAPTABILITY
IMPACT ON THE WATERFRONT
CONSTRUCTION COST
Decades
Low
Minor Intervention
TBD


COASTAL FLOOD HAZARDS MITIGATED:
Enhancements can provide flood protection when combined with other physical infrastructure.
Sea Level Rise
Storm Surge
Groundwater
Waves
Erosion


MEASURES COMPATIBILITY
ECOSYSTEM SERVICES: Measure may affect these shoreline values
Flood
Seismic
Revetments, Breakwaters, Artificial Nearshore Reefs
N/A
Aquatic Habitat
Terrestrial Habitat
Water Quality
Carbon Storage




CONSIDERATIONS:
ADVANTAGES:
DISADVANTAGES:
  • Tide pool units are an attractive ecological enhancement to existing or new armor structures. Their design can enhance public experience of the waterfront while creating subtidal and intertidal habitat. Consideration should be given to create safe public access.
  • Wave environment, water levels, and geotechnical conditions are key to habitat development.
  • Possible integration into structural flood and erosion protection structures.
  • Increased habitat value and biodiversity.
  • Can provide educational benefits to waterfront users.
  • Construction can proceed with landside equipment.
  • Lifetime of units could be long. However, no long-term data are available about lifetime in different wave environments.
  • Can present a hazard to people who are attracted to tide pools.


CONSTRUCTION IMPACTS
TO THE PUBLIC:
SEA LEVEL RISE ADAPTATION OPPORTUNITIES:
CASE STUDIES:
  • Construction impacts are minimal because units can be prefabricated offsite and installed using landside equipment.
  • Habitat depends on the location of the units within the intertidal zone.
  • Transient changes in water levels (e.g. storm surge) will not affect ecological value of the units.
  • Intertidal habitats will not survive permanent submergence in the event of sea level rise due to climate change, but subtidal habitats will replace them.
  • None cited

DESIGN OPPORTUNITIES:
Ecological Enhancements
Urban Design
Form
  • Increase in biodiversity and marine habitat. Can be used in conjunction with stepped slopes to augment biodiversity.
  • Design can be incorporated in public access to the waterfront. Opportunity for educational engagement with Bay habitat.
  • Form is maximized to provide shelter to marine organisms, but also can enhance visual interest.

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Armor layer must be sized to remain stable under extreme wave conditions, as well as propeller wash from marine operations on-site.
  • Consideration should be given to stability of surrounding armor units due to potential loss of interlocking with the tide pool units.
  • Potential loss of foundation material may result in differential settlement and damage of the units.
  • Placement within the intertidal area should be consistent with desired habitat.

SITE-SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Water levels, waves, currents, geotechnical conditions, propeller wash should be well defined.

URBAN DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Will attract people if incorporated in a waterfront accessible to the public. Structures surrounding the tide pool units should be designed to reduce hazards (e.g., walking, climbing, etc. on slippery surfaces).

INSTALLATION AND CONSTRUCTABILITY CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Units are fabricated offsite.
  • Stability requires careful placement of units to prevent damage and ensure adequate interlocking with adjacent units.
  • Construction could be performed with landside equipment.

OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Tide pool units could be more prone to damage than surrounding armor units under wave action. Periodic inspections should be performed to check for damage.



Tide Pool Units are a part of the Aquatic Habitat measures to address flood risk.


DESCRIPTION: Prefabricated tide pool units can be incorporated into shoreline protection structures in the intertidal zone. They are made of concrete and designed to mimic natural rock tide pools.
ECOncrete tide pool ©ECOncrete, Inc. (Vendor)

ECOLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
WATER LEVEL RANGE: Intertidal

SHORELINE LOCATION:
Shoreline


DESIGN LIFE
ADAPTABILITY
IMPACT ON THE WATERFRONT
CONSTRUCTION COST
Decades
Low
Minor Intervention
TBD


COASTAL FLOOD HAZARDS MITIGATED:
Enhancements can provide flood protection when combined with other physical infrastructure.
Sea Level Rise
Storm Surge
Groundwater
Waves
Erosion


MEASURES COMPATIBILITY
ECOSYSTEM SERVICES: Measure may affect these shoreline values
Flood
Seismic
Revetments, Breakwaters, Artificial Nearshore Reefs
N/A
Aquatic Habitat
Terrestrial Habitat
Water Quality
Carbon Storage




CONSIDERATIONS:
ADVANTAGES:
DISADVANTAGES:
  • Tide pool units are an attractive ecological enhancement to existing or new armor structures. Their design can enhance public experience of the waterfront while creating subtidal and intertidal habitat. Consideration should be given to create safe public access.
  • Wave environment, water levels, and geotechnical conditions are key to habitat development.
  • Possible integration into structural flood and erosion protection structures.
  • Increased habitat value and biodiversity.
  • Can provide educational benefits to waterfront users.
  • Construction can proceed with landside equipment.
  • Lifetime of units could be long. However, no long-term data are available about lifetime in different wave environments.
  • Can present a hazard to people who are attracted to tide pools.


CONSTRUCTION IMPACTS
TO THE PUBLIC:
SEA LEVEL RISE ADAPTATION OPPORTUNITIES:
CASE STUDIES:
  • Construction impacts are minimal because units can be prefabricated offsite and installed using landside equipment.
  • Habitat depends on the location of the units within the intertidal zone.
  • Transient changes in water levels (e.g. storm surge) will not affect ecological value of the units.
  • Intertidal habitats will not survive permanent submergence in the event of sea level rise due to climate change, but subtidal habitats will replace them.
  • None cited

DESIGN OPPORTUNITIES:
Ecological Enhancements
Urban Design
Form
  • Increase in biodiversity and marine habitat. Can be used in conjunction with stepped slopes to augment biodiversity.
  • Design can be incorporated in public access to the waterfront. Opportunity for educational engagement with Bay habitat.
  • Form is maximized to provide shelter to marine organisms, but also can enhance visual interest.

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Armor layer must be sized to remain stable under extreme wave conditions, as well as propeller wash from marine operations on-site.
  • Consideration should be given to stability of surrounding armor units due to potential loss of interlocking with the tide pool units.
  • Potential loss of foundation material may result in differential settlement and damage of the units.
  • Placement within the intertidal area should be consistent with desired habitat.

SITE-SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Water levels, waves, currents, geotechnical conditions, propeller wash should be well defined.

URBAN DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Will attract people if incorporated in a waterfront accessible to the public. Structures surrounding the tide pool units should be designed to reduce hazards (e.g., walking, climbing, etc. on slippery surfaces).

INSTALLATION AND CONSTRUCTABILITY CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Units are fabricated offsite.
  • Stability requires careful placement of units to prevent damage and ensure adequate interlocking with adjacent units.
  • Construction could be performed with landside equipment.

OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Tide pool units could be more prone to damage than surrounding armor units under wave action. Periodic inspections should be performed to check for damage.



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    Thank you for learning about ways to strengthen the waterfront through the Measures Explorer! What questions do you have for us about Tide Pool Units? Would you like to see it implemented along San Francisco's waterfront as a solution to flooding as a result of sea level rise? If so, where? Do you have any concerns about it as a potential solution along San Francisco's waterfront? The Port wants to hear from you!

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