Chesapeake Bay in the State of Maryland is part of one of the United States’ biggest river deltas. Some 10 million people live in the hinterland of these ecologically sensitive coasts. The area is particularly exposed to the effects of gales, waves, tides and storms – all of them key contributors to erosion and destruction of the shoreline.
The Georgetown Yacht Basin is located in Chesapeake Bay. To counteract the forces of nature, the yacht basin owner has been using conventional revetments of rock armor to secure the shore – however, this defense proved to be unstable. Large rocks were capable of sliding into the navigable channel, causing damage to ships’ hulls and propellers. So the search was on for a solution that would consolidate the existing revetment and also protect the shore in the long term. The solution was Elastocoast® from BASF.
Flood protection restores habitats
Protecting the coasts and slowing the rate of soil erosion are global tasks that call for imaginative and sustainable solutions. This is what prompted BASF to develop Elastocoast® over 10 years ago. A demonstrably durable solution for coastal infrastructure, Elastocoast® creates open-pored structures that absorb the energy of breaking waves and also offers good conditions for the restoration of the habitats of flora and fauna. The Elastocoast® system involves the mechanical bonding of an aggregate (crushed rock) bonded with an environmentally compatible 2-component polyurethane plastic. This yields a porous and at the same time solid structure that absorbs the energy of the waves and wave run-up and weakens their force considerably. Elastocoast® from BASF consists of 50% plant fatty acids and is ideal for use in both fresh- and saltwater. Thanks to its flexible design and the simplicity of its application, the system is suitable for river, lake or even sea dikes, for the protection of bridge piers, the lining of irrigation channels, or as protection from soil erosion. Since only light equipment and local aggregates are required for application, Elastocoast® is often less expensive to install and is less environmentally invasive than many other protection systems for coastlines – including conventional rock armor revetments. Unlike sea walls that deflect the erosive energy of the waves to adjoining beaches and shorelines, Elastocoast® also protects neighboring habitats.
Sustainable protection for the yacht basin and surroundings
The yacht basin in Georgetown is now secure. The Elastocoast® binder was combined with local mineral mixes to create a robust, ecologically compatible erosion protection system that has been placed over the existing revetment. This means that existing loose rocks have been securely fixed instead of having to be sent to landfill for disposal. The final outcome is sustainable and rock-solid shore protection that withstands erosive waves, strong winds, storm tides, and even ice floes.
On everything from lake shores to sea coasts, Elastocoast® creates reinforcing structures that are highly open-pored, durable, and safe. The outcome is a system that dissipates the wave energy and reduces wave run-up, thus delivering improved coastal protection.
Project profile at a glance
Where: Georgetown, Maryland, USA
Owner: Georgetown Yacht Basin, Inc.
Contractor: Pervious Paving Contractors LLC
Challenge: Repairing a rock armor revetment in an ecologically sensitive estuary
Solution: Elastocoast® from BASF