In late 2021, Danos completed four coastal restoration and resilience projects in south Louisiana on behalf of Shell Pipeline Company.
Shell is just one of the many oil companies that have destroyed this shoreline over the past century via the dredging of shipping channels. And their products continue to damage our global climate, thus subjecting coasts to both sea levels rise and increased erosion from storms.
But restoration and resilience work is to be encouraged, and it’s only just that it be paid for by fossil fuel companies.
This work will provide shoreline protection through a combination of customized 3D printed modules, nicknamed “Cajun Coral,” and advanced satellite image monitoring with partner Natrx, Inc. The project designs and the installation procedures were tailored to local site conditions in order to enhance biodiversity and shoreline stability.
“Shell is committed to making a positive contribution to biodiversity in critical habitat areas where we operate, such as Louisiana’s coast, while delivering safe and reliable operations,” claims Greg Mouras, general manager operations, Shell Pipeline Company.
“We value Danos and Natrx’s support in bringing innovative, nature-based projects to life which serve both objectives, enabling important sustainability benefits, including wetland conservation and oyster creation, while protecting our pipeline infrastructure,” he added.
In partnership with Natrx, Danos managed the project on behalf of Shell, including designing the technical drawings and installation plans. Danos’ construction team then completed the infrastructure fabrication and aided in installation on-site, in the marshes of Terrebonne Parish.
The Danos and Natrx team developed the concept of “Cajun Coral,” a solution that combats erosion while providing ongoing resilience through the growth of oysters and marsh. The structures were optimized to allow a controlled flow of water to pass which, in turn, provides a healthy new habitat for oysters.
“Louisiana’s coast is vital to our industry and our environment,” said Paul Danos, CEO of Danos. “Using technology to help restore the ecosystem, is one way Danos is living our purpose of solving big challenges for our customers and our communities.”
As water flows through the barrier, oysters are nourished and sediments are deposited that encourage new marsh growth, support marine life and provide protection that grows stronger and more resilient over time.
In 2019, Shell GameChanger and The Idea Village teamed up for an accelerator program, ENERGYx in New Orleans, to support startups and innovators with the potential to impact the future of Louisiana and coastal areas around the world.
“The partnership with Danos and Shell Pipeline Company has created new techniques for adaptive management of natural systems in south Louisiana,” concluded Nelson. “We look forward to continuing our joint work to facilitate effective, nature-based solutions and to quantify the benefits such as biodiversity, vegetation health and natural carbon sequestration.”
Natrx was one of the companies selected for the program, which focused on emerging innovative technologies for coastal construction and water management that improves the capital efficiency of real projects on-the-ground.
Photos courtesy of Natrx.