Europe’s first artificial reef, located off the coast of Bournemouth in the U.K., is finally nearing completion. The $5 million, two and a half acre reef, originally scheduled to be finished last fall, will double the size of waves crashing onto the shore. As a result, Bournemouth will become a surfer’s paradise. When the Bournemouth project is completed in October, it will become the world’s fourth artificial reef.
The reef, designed by marine consulting company ASR Ltd., is located 738 feet from the shoreline. It’s being constructed from 55 giant geo-textile bags pumped with sand and anchored to the sea bed. Like any natural reef, Bournemouth’s artificial structure will shape the sea’s wave energy–in this case, into 13 foot high waves fit for surfers. The reef can’t create swells by itself, but it can increase the size of already existing swells.
In addition to providing monumental waves, the artificial reef is expected to increase biodiversity off Bournemouth’s coast. The tourist attraction will also help revive the coast’s economy, with a restaurant, surf shop, and 60 new beach huts being built in anticipation of the reef’s completion.
[Via UK Daily Mail]