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Marine & Coastal Engineering

The coastal environment is incredibly complex and highly variable.

Marine and coastal projects require experts to breakdown the complexity into solutions that:

  • Work (an integrated, innovative and engineered approach)
  • Can be built (practical, user-friendly construction methodologies)
  • In time and on budget (agile project management and cost control strategies)

Taking an engineered, solutions based approach to our clients' coastal problems, Ecocoast is at the forefront of designing and constructing practical, user friendly and often innovative marine structures for coastal protection and improvement.

  • Coastal Management Strategies, Planning & Implementation
  • Design of Coastal & Marine Structures
  • Approvals
  • Project Management
  • Coastal Process Monitoring & Modelling
  • Environmental (Coastal) Impact Assessment
  • Dive Inspections


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We partner with leading Coastal Engineering Consultancy, International Coastal Management and pioneering Coastal Engineer Angus Jackson, to develop integrated, practical and unique solutions.

The Environmental and Recreational angles

We are leaders in a number of coastal protection design and construction methodologies that have significant environmental and recreational benefit.

Eco-engineered habitats for coastal protection

In semi-submerged and submerged structures, habitats for local marine life can be eco-engineered to replicate natural environments using sand-filled geosynthetic containers. These habitats draw an abundance of local marine life from the surrounding area. The increased quantity of marine life aids in conservation while also creating dive and snorkel opportunities.

Multifunction artificial reefs: surfing and diving opportunities

In sites that fulfil the necessary swell criteria, artificial surfing reefs can provide beach protection and focus swell into desirable breaking waves for surfing. Depending on the predominant swell size (small or large) a reef can be designed to be suitable for mals (longboards), bodyboards, surf skis, windsurfers and kiteboarders.  These structures also form a habitat for marine life, thereby creating dive and snorkel opportunities.

Marine protection barriers

Marine construction and coastal reclamation activities can have a detrimental impact on the marine environment as a result of silt, construction debris and waste.  Marine protection barriers help to protect the marine environment against the negative effects of these activiites.  We design and manufacture a range of marine protection barriers under the brand Ecobarrier.  We are the only manufacturer of the full range of silt curtains in the Middle East (Type I, II, III and IV) and have been manufacturing silt curtains, oil booms, debris barriers, construction barriers and other marine barriers since 2009.


Please contact us for further assistance or to discuss your individual requirements.

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We see our clients’ coastlines as an asset. Our focus is not only on protecting that asset, but also designing ways to improve and harness it.

Ecocoast is at the forefront of innovative marine construction works for coastal protection and improvement. We take an engineered, solutions-based approach to our clients' coastal problems. Using coastal modelling and survey to understand the root of the problem, our engineers design a solution best suited to each unique coastal environment and our clients' needs.

Our coastal protection and improvement works involve the design and construction of:

  • Breakwaters
  • (Timber) Groynes
  • Revetments and Retaining Walls
  • Toe Structures
  • Perched Beaches
  • Multi-function Artificial Reefs
  • Emergency Protection
  • Beach Nourishment


Please contact us for further assistance or to discuss your individual requirements.

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There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to coastal protection and improvement.

Every site has a unique marine environment. Every client has its own requirements, risk profile and budget.  Each location brings with it its own logistical considerations.  Each coastal protection and improvement solution is therefore unique. 

  • Structure: groyne, breakwater, revetment, artificial reef, submerged toe?
  • Material: rock, timber, geosynthetic sand-filled containers (geotube or geobag), gabions, sand profiling?
  • Other marine structures: marinas, pontoons, jetties, berths, over-water structures, beach access?
  • Aesthetics and amenity:  hotel or private beach, emergency protection, marinas, protection over aesthetics?

We work with our clients to design the best solution to suit their objective, budgets and deadlines. 

Whatever the requirement, we take a holistic approach to coastal protection to ensure long-term stability rather than individual solutions to isolated issues.



We use a variety of traditional and non-traditional construction methods and materials to ensure we offer the best solution for our clients' needs.


Ecocoast has teamed up with the designers of Trapbag® from the USA who have developed a new solution for coastal erosion protection. Trapbags were originally designed for emergency flood protection in the US, but they are also ideal for coastal protection works. Due to their speed of installation and cost effectiveness they are ideal as a quick solution to short term erosion protection or as part of a longer term emergency protection plan for one-off or irregular storm events to protect key assets.

Ecocoast has recently developed an innovative design for coastal protection using Trapbags and Geobags. For more information click here

What are Trapbags?

They are continuous cell barriers used for temporary or permanent protection against erosion, flooding or mudslide, or to act as water-control, safety or construction barriers.  The cellular system is designed for rapid deployment at reduced costs to more traditional barrier systems.

Why use TrapBag®?

  • Coastal protection
  • Erosion control
  • Flood control and protection
  • Mudslide protection
  • Safety barriers
  • Water-control barriers
  • Gravity walls
  • Military use (blast walls, perimeter walls, force protection, safety uses)


There are very few companies around the world who specialise in this field, and we are proud to be one of them. We have experience spanning over 30 years globally, and were responsible for the first geotube installation in the UAE in 2007. Since that time in the UAE and wider Middle East and Africa, we have been designing and installing geotubes and geobags as an alternative method of coastal protection.

What are they?

The use of sand-filled geotextile containers (otherwise known as sandbags, megacontainers, geobags, geotubes or geocontainers) as permanent construction elements in coastal engineering is already more than 50 years old and has been established as a proven and viable technology. With the new generation of durable, high-strength geotextiles, there is increasing demand for coastal structures to be designed and constructed using these materials.

Ecocoast uses these soft structures as a solution for conventional and non-conventional coastal problems due to their design, flexibility, environmental benefits, durability, safety, and reduced cost. Through extensive R&D, Ecocoast is at the forefront of this technology.


Sandbags are a safer alternative to hard structures (rock & concrete), and offer a reduced footprint and reduced visual impact. They may be designed to provide improved swimming amenity, reduced water turbidity and wider beaches with improved sand quality. They can also enhance habitats for local marine life and be eco-engineered to replicate natural environments.

Custom Design

The integrated design and construction of sand-filled structures is a specialised field.  Where sand-filled geocontainers are selected as the most appropriate design material, the containers are designed and custom made for each project. With varying sizes, the containers range from 600kg to over 600 tonnes.

  • Geotubes or megacontainers are long tubes that are hydraulically filled with sand. Sizes range from 10-100m in length and 0.3-2.6m high. 
  • Geobags or geocontainers are smaller sandbags that range from 0.35-2.5m3 and can be lifted and placed with an excavator. 

Rock Solutions

Ecocoast is regularly involved in the design and construction of sea defences, coastal protection and beach improvement works where rock construction is the most viable solution, both in terms of cost, design and construction time.

Our coastal protection and marine construction works with rock span the design and construction of:

  • Breakwaters
  • Groynes
  • Revetments and retaining walls
  • Toe structures

This more traditional construction method is suitable for robust designs, particularly for breakwaters and groynes.  It is also a more cost-effective option for smaller structures when rock is easily and cheaply available and where aesthetics is not an issue.

Having experience with a range of traditional and non-traditional marine construction methodologies, Ecocoast is in a unique position to offer its clients the best solution to suit their requirement, budgets and deadline.  Often a combination of construction methodologies will present a more effective solution depending on the location and level of protection required, such as geotube core covered with rock armour.

Beach Nourishment

Beach nourishment is often a cost-effective means of maintaining a high quality beach where only small cosmetic improvements are necessary, where budgetary constraints exist or where a larger protection structure is not feasible. 

Ecocoast regularly carries out beach nourishment works to:

  • Create wider beaches
  • Reduce erosion scarps
  • Replace poor quality sand
  • Reduce sand loss

These works are generally coupled with beach cleaning works to improve the beach quality.

Ecocoast manages the entire process from survey, design, approvals, sand supply, profiling and cleaning.

Sand Types

As a general guideline, course beach sand is less affected by wind/wave erosion and creates a more stable beach which requires less cleaning. For pure back-filling purposes, a sand that has a higher percentage of silts may be more cost-effective.

Ecocoast works with a varier of sand and fill material for use in coastal construction projects, ranging from high grade beach sand to back-fill and due sand. General types:

  • Beach Sand (Dredge Material)
  • High Grade Beach Sand (Small natural shells)
  • High Grade Beach Sand (Pure, fine, white)


Ecocoast recommends the use of gabions as an effective solution in the design, construction and maintenance of a variety of protective coastal and mainland structures.  Ecocoast regularly designs and constructs marine protection structures using gabions due to their modularity, low cost and resistance to strong wave movements. We have a significant amount of experience in gabion installation on coastal construction projects globally.


The strength, engineering adaptability and low cost of gabions have made them a popular building material for a wide variety of construction works, including:

  • Coastal Defence
  • Shoreline stabilisation
  • River lining
  • Channel training
  • Retaining walls
  • Soil erosion protection
  • Bridge protection
  • Rock slide protection
  • Road construction
  • Control and training of natural and flood waters
  • Earth retaining structures
  • Water recharge dams

Primary Benefits

  • Gabions can cope with highly variable wave height and direction conditions and have been proven in high wave environments.
  • Simple installation procedure using natural or quarried stones obtained locally.
  • Cost effective solution due to low cost of gabions and fill material, together with speed of installation.
  • Higher resistance to natural forces due to better tensile strength.
  • Majority of manpower need not be skilled.
  • Ability to deform without cracking allowing the structure to withstand unpredictable movement or settlement without loss of stability.
  • The gabion structure blends easily and harmoniously with natural surroundings.
  • Ease of repair to any damaged cages, with minimal expense.

Timber Groynes

What are they?

Groynes are cross-shore structures designed to protect beach material from being swept away. They trap sand that waves have moved along the beach and prevent it from being transported too far along the coast. Without coastal protection, the force of the waves would have a detrimental effect over time. Timber has historically been used for the construction of a wide variety of coastal structures, such as groynes.

What are their benefits?

  • Timber groynes offer great flexibility in design.
  • They are an environmentally responsible material option.
  • Their appearance and small footprint is advantageous.
  • Coastal erosion is severely reduced as well as the need for beach nourishment.

As the leader in design and installation of alternative structures for coastal protection, we help customers get the most out of our specialist marine solutions and expertise. Timber groynes offer many advantages, which Ecocoast can advise you on and help you explore.