Volvo Living Seawall
8:30 PM | June 1 2019

Volvo Living Seawall thriving with marine life

Volvo Car Australia’s joint ocean conservation project in Sydney Harbour is literally coming to life 6 months after its installation.
More than 50 marine species have been observed thriving on and around Volvo’s Living Seawall, about 6 months after the ocean conservation project was started in Sydney Harbour.
 
The Living Seawall is a joint prototype project between Volvo Car Australia, the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Reef Design Lab and North Sydney Council. It was created in June 2018, using 50 special tiles to encourage and support native marine biodiversity.
 
The 55cmx55cm tiles are constructed from concrete and made to mimic the root structure of the native mango tree – with tiny alcoves etched into the tile to give fish, filter-feeding organisms and other species a place to live and flourish just as they would in a natural habitat.
 
A first study conducted by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science reveals a promising variety of native life on and around the Seawall.
 
Sessile (permanently attached) species include algae (seaweed), mussels, barnacles, tube worms, sponges and bryozoans.

marine species
Above: Close-up of Living Seawall tile that helps a variety of marine species live and thrive just as they would in a natural habitat.

Mobile species include snails, limpets, chitons and small crustaceans such as isopods and amphipods.
 
Species such as mussels are important filter feeders that can help improve water quality by filtering out particulate matter or contaminants. The hope is that they will eventually be joined by other effective filter feeders such as oysters.
 
Improved water quality is one of the aims of the Living Seawall at Milsons Point over the next 20 years, helping to combat urbanisation and pollution as well as supporting native marine biodiversity.
 
About 50 per cent of Sydney Harbour is covered by artificial structures, including seawalls. Instead of tearing down seawalls, Volvo Cars and its project partners have taken a more creative approach with the Living Seawall.
 
“Solving environmental issues requires modern, divergent thinking,” says Volvo Car Australia managing director Nick Connor “This sort of thinking isn’t just what we do, it’s part of who we are.”
 
Volvo Cars is committed to building a sustainable future. It is a founding member of the UN Global Compact and an active supporter of the UN Environment Clean Seas Campaign.