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FAU researchers: 'Manmade mangroves could address coastal threats'

Posted: 5:33 PM, Sep 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-06 10:35:09Z

As the tropics heat up, threats of storm surge, erosion and damage to homes also go up.

There may be a way to protect coastlines and it's all thanks to Mother Nature.

Clair Johnson says king tides can impact his home along the Intracoastal Waterway in Delray Beach.

"It does come up," said Johnson.

He's spent plenty of time protecting his home. He's also praising nearby mangroves.

"Protects everything around it," said Johnson.

Turns out manmade mangroves could be a good way to guard coastlines.

Amir Kazemi is a researcher in FAU's Ocean and Mechanical Engineering Department. His team modeled mangrove roots and studied how roots affect the water.

"Dissipating water into different channels," said Kazemi.

He found placing manmade mangroves similar to the red mangrove along the coastline can divert the energy of water in different directions. He says that can reduce coastal damage.

It can even adjust to changes in rising sea levels.

"Help build a robust structure in our environment for coastal protection," said Kazemi.