Since these islands have only been around for a few years, it’s difficult to be certain precisely what effect they’re having on the surrounding environment. That being said, Dubai has worked to address some of the problems these islands have caused (because, quite frankly, a dead ecosystem makes for a lousy island paradise).
As you may have heard, the original continuous breakwaters inhibited normal tidal movement; as such, water around the island stagnated and the creatures living there suffered. Putting gaps in the breakwater has significantly lessened–though not completely eliminated–this problem. (I realize this isn’t a “positive” in itself–more of a rectification of a negative–but I figured it couldn’t hurt to mention it)
Relatedly, National Geographic, in an exploration of one of these breakwaters, discovered that “the breakwater has actually encouraged marine life and that new marine species are moving into the area.”
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