Feb 21

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Breakwalls do more than protect harbors from waves

Breakwall under construction via IJC

In the Milwaukee Harbor, a 500 foot section of breakwall has been re-designed to support fish. It’s made of huge boulders that fish can hide between. Then it’s covered by a layer of smaller rocks that create habitat for prey.

John Janssen of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee studies life on this breakwall. He’s found what’s called the bloody red shrimp thriving in its nooks and crannies.

“Virtually every small fish out there is just feeding on this and gorging on it,” he says.

So the shrimp has helped make the breakwall a thriving habitat for fish.

Ironically, it’s also an invasive species, so more research is needed to understand its long-term effects.

Hear John Janssen describe the breakwall habitat:

Get Schooled:

The fine print:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/green-infrastructure/breakwalls-do-more-than-protect-harbors-from-waves/