Artificial reef to transform The Dell

A concept illustration of the sculptural wave attenuator after being colonised by local marine life.

By Justin Flynn

An artificial state-of-the-art eco-friendly reef will be established at Clifton Springs.

City of Greater Geelong has partnered with world-leading artificial reef designer Alex Goad to create a Sculptural Wave Attenuator that will consist of a series of modular reef units.

The reef units will host a range of habitats for marine life.

The modular reef units will also reduce wave energy and curb erosion along The Dell’s coastline, council said.

Six reef units will be installed off The Dell this autumn.

The reef units will be colonised by a range of native species, such as mussels, seaweed and invertebrates.

The reef replaces plans for a sunken gallery at the location, which council in February 2019 announced would be open to the public during summer 2019-2020.

But the sunken gallery never passed the planning stages.

The sculptural reef at Clifton Springs can be safely enjoyed at both high and low tides, and will offer shallow swimming or walk-through opportunities for residents, students and tourists.

Greater Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher said Melbourne-based Goad, from Reef Design Lab, had been engaged to design and fabricate the reef units.

“We are excited to be working with a designer of the calibre of Alex, whose ground-breaking work has attracted international acclaim for its environmental and artistic outcomes,” Cr Asher said.

“The Sculptural Wave Attenuator will enhance the area’s sensitive environment and provide an educational and eco-tourism drawcard that will appeal to a wide range of visitors.”

The initial stage of the project is being delivered with a budget of $30,000, If successful, it will be followed by subsequent stages with a total budget of about $200,000.