KPLU: This UW Spinoff Wants To Make Marine Construction Less Of A Headache For Wildlife

Feb. 12, 2015

A technology that emerged from University of Washington research has the potential to make undersea construction less of a headache for wildlife.

Things that get built in the water, such as bridges or ferry docks, usually sit on piles — tubes driven into the floor of the sea, river or lake by gigantic hammers. That, of course, can get loud.

“It’s loud enough to be harmful to endangered fish, marine mammals and birds,” said Dave Marver, CEO of Marine Construction Technologies.

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"This new research shows we can minimize underwater pile driving noise to avoid harm to mammals and other protected marine species. The new sound attenuation method may also save project construction time and money."
Rhonda Brooks, Research Director, Washington State Department of Transportation

Hear the difference

Recorded from hydrophone deployed at 10m during subscale testing of 8" steel piles in Seattle, Washington in 2013.

You are hearing 4 strikes of a standard pile followed by 4 strikes of a Reinhall Pile™. Notice the difference.