Working with nature Investigations for Seawall Designs in the Port of Gladstone

Rory Mulloy sitting on sea wall


Coastal structures can be more ecologically sustainable when strategies design for the inclusion and creation of local habitats. Careful design of the novel habitat is required to ensure that it fulfills the physiological requirements of the target species. In the case of intertidal species, this may involve implementing measures to control the hydrological and sedimentation conditions.  While it is possible to retrofit existing structures, the best and most cost-effective outcomes for WwN projects occur when the planning for the novel habitat is incorporated at the design phase of the infrastructure.  This project investigates designs for seawalls to create hard and soft substrate intertidal habitats within the Port of Gladstone, with a particular focus on working with nature, where habitat creation is incorporated into part of the final design.


Working with nature approaches allows for efficiencies in construction, but also improved performance, both structural and ecosystemic, novel creating ecosystems that provide, fish habitat, biodiversity and sequester carbon.


Emma Jackson

Professor Emma Jackson- Project Lead

Professor Emma Jackson is the Director of the Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre and a Research Fellow in Marine Ecology. She has 19 years of research expertise in the areas of fisheries ecology, seagrass landscape and restoration ecology, impacts on marine species, coastal marine habitats and ecosystem health indicators.

At CQUniversity we are committed to embedding sustainable practice in our operations, interactions and relationships, underpinned by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability sits as one of our strategic pillars within our Strategic Plan 2019-2023.

This project aligns to the following SDG Goals:

  • 11 - Sustainable cities and communities
  • 13 - Climate Action
  • 14 - Life below water
  • 17 - Partnerships to achieve the Goal