Rip Rap Seawalls and Venice

Those of us here in Florida know how essential a solidly-constructed seawall is to keeping the soil and water from adversely impacting each other. Floridian seawalls literally represent our coastal defense system. They also allow us to live as close as possible to our stunning waters.

Seawalls come in all shapes and sizes and can, of course, be constructed in a variety of materials. In keeping with our natural landscape, there are seawall installations where we do recommend the use of Rip Rap. This seawall build option creates one that consists of rocks, stone, or other like objects. Besides being functional, these materials convey a more natural look, allowing the wall to blend into its native surroundings. We typically like to use fieldstone or lime rock for just this reason.

Rip Rap Seawalls:

  • Help prevent erosion
  • Offer a habitat for wildlife
  • Require less maintenance than those made from vinyl or wood
  • Can encourage the growth of vegetation depending on the water itself

Here on the Gulf of Mexico we know the challenges we face in order to coexist with our native environs. But if you consider the trials of another beautiful coastal home, we have it easy!

The residents of Venice, Italy have long endured the ordeal of protecting their city from the ravages of water. The very element that adds to its matchless beauty has influenced its undoing. 

Venice’s purported multi-billion dollar Moses Project’s objective is to protect the city and control sea levels by temporarily isolating the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic Sea to shield the lagoon (and the land) from high tides.

This MOSE system (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico, translated to Experimental Electromechanical Module) is comprised of a series of oscillating inflatable flood gates. Positioned on the bed floor of Venice’s three main lagoon inlets, these gates were designed to reduce the intensity of tidal currents and protect the city from flooding. To combat high tide predictions, compressed air will propel the inflatable gates to emerge out of the water as needed. As an engineering feat, it is ingenious.

According to Lidija Grozdanic in her article, Venice’s $7 Billion Moses Flood-Protection System Passes its First Test: “The system being tested in Venice could potentially provide protection for other coastal areas and communities threatened by rising sea levels.”

Once operational, these tide barriers will represent the biggest dam construction in the world and will hopefully function to protect the beloved city from its chronic flooding problems.

With successful tests having been reported over this long-term endeavor, completion is projected for some time in 2016.

It’s always interesting to see how other coastal cities around the world handle the age-old struggle of maintaining the integrity of the land that meets the water. We have always felt beyond lucky to live in a city on one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world and it is our passion to help residents enjoy their water views safely and securely for years to come!

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