WE Empower Challenge awardee visits Hawai'i to present and collaborate

Marine biologist and engineer Shimrit Perkol-Finkel was in Hawaii May 28-June 2 en route to the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver, where Amanda Ellis and Perkol-Finkel are both speaking on the same panel.

Perkol-Finkel is an inaugural awardee for the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge headlined by the UN Secretary General and President of the World Bank last September. We are so pleased Hawai'i Green Growth is a dissemination partner. Perkol-Finkel is co-founder of a company creating "ECOncrete" as a positive response to marine climate change.

Perkol-Finkel specializes in eco-engineering of urban, coastal and marine infrastructure with environmentally sensitive concrete solutions for climate change threats such as sea level rise and super storms. Perkol-Finkel has started a big contract for sea walls for the City of New York.

Visit highlights included: Meeting with University of Hawai'i's Sea Grant College Program as a guest speaker and meeting the Chair of the State Climate Change Commission and Head of Lands and Natural Resources Suzanne Case and her team, which is now exploring pilots with Perkol-Finkel’s invention.

On May 31st, Perkol-Finkel was a guest presenter at the Ala Wai Watershed Collaboration meeting hosted by ‘Iolani School. Perkol-Finkel spoke about ECOncrete as a marine habitat enhancing technology. ECOncrete utilizes a unique type of concrete mix, along with specially designed surfaces and topography to encourage marine life growth without compromising strength and durability. A discussion resulted where members were interested in potential applications of ECOncrete to freshwater environments, such as the flood mitigation project’s detention basins, as well as coastal Waikiki. There was a discussion on how ECOncrete might help reduce project costs by reducing the requirement for remediation payments.

While Amanda Ellis met with Dan Lutkenhouse, Director of the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden and WE Empower UN SDG Challenge Lead Partner, Perkol-Finkel also provided input on oceans strategy.