Spotlight on the Floating Reef project in St-Tropez !
What better messengers of the emergency to protect the posidonia than the fastest sailing boats in the world?
During the weekend of September 10 and 11, 2022, the French leg of the Sail GP will take place in St-Tropez, an international competition of hydrofoil catamarans, these underwater wings that increase the speed of boats tenfold (up to 100km/h!) by lifting them above the surface of the water. The Sail GP is also one of the few international sporting disciplines where environmental performance (including carbon footprint, and support for local conservation projects) is an integral part of the team ranking.
This year, our Floating Reef project, led by the GIS Posidonie and the Tangram+Rougerie design agency, has been selected by the Sail GP organization, which will also donate part of the profits from the gala dinner. Before the opening of the doors of the event, our team had the honor of presenting the first prototype of the project to the international crews of the Sail GP, in 1/2 scale. This was an opportunity to remind an already convinced audience of the importance of conserving the posidonia and seagrass beds, particularly in the Bay of St. Tropez, where 145 hectares of seagrass have been destroyed by recreational anchors since 2010 (1).
Floating Reef is an eco-designed mooring system that serves the dual purpose of protecting and restoring Posidonia meadows and their biodiversity where they have been degraded. Attached to a surface buoy is a floating artificial reef, which offers marine life surfaces, hiding places and shelter to restore a habitat in the water column.
After an engineering phase that saw the design and materials used evolve, the project is now mature. Combining 3D printed biopolymers and local reused materials (fishing nets and corks), the first prototypes are ready to go as soon as the final authorizations are obtained for their installation at sea.
Now imagine the impact of a thousand Floating Reefs…
(1) MEDTRIX – Cahier de la Surveillance. Edition spéciale : Impact du mouillage des grands navires en Méditerranée française. 2019. Edition L’œil d’Andromède / Agence de l’Eau rhône Méditerranée Corse