|Conservation||The United Nations have calculated there are 287,000 warm water coral reefs around the world. Studies have shown around 58% of them are damaged, mainly by pollution, silt from marine work and bleaching by el nino.|
|The Global Coral Reef Alliance (GCRA)||It is possible to grow a coral reef where conditions are right using
Biorock. It isn't the answer to coral destruction, but given time, a lot of time, it can start the
regeneration process and speed recovery.
This is particularly important when you appreciate that 27% of the worlds coral reefs have been damaged by humanity. El Nino is damaging more and scientists believe another 25% will die by 2020.
|What is biorock?||
A large iron frame 12 metres/37 feet across and shaped like an upside down bowl is placed on the sea bed.
Then a small electric circuit is created in the frame through wires from the shore. It can be solar
For a reef to recover naturally can take ten or hundreds of years, and some never recover. Biorock works as the small electric current creates electrolysis in the sea water and limestone (calcium carbonate) and magnesium hydroxide are deposited on the iron framework. This accelerates the growth of coral attached to the framework as it needs less of its own energy to grow.
This process was discovered by Dr Thomas Goreau and Wolf Hilbertz and they
formed GCRA - the Global Coral Reef Alliance. They have patented the
mineral accretion process and Biorock is GCRA's commercial arm.
They built their first reefs near the Ihuru Tourist Resort, North Male Atoll,
Maldives in 1996. They 'grew' 20cm/8 inches of limestone in 2 years for
coral to fix on. One structure has been created of many dome frames and
is now 40 metres long by 8m wide and 1.5m high.
|Projects have started in Permuteran in Bali, Indonesia; Thailand; Papua New Guinea; Mexico; Panama; Israel; India; and Sulawesi (Indonesia). Marine scientists from Australia, Hawaii, US and Jamaica are researching possibilities for their countries.|
Global Coral Reef Alliance
37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA
telephone: 617-864-4226, 617-864-0433
Web site: www.globalcoral.org
The Global Coral Reef Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in the USA which is dedicated to growing, protecting and managing the most threatened of all marine ecosystemscoral reefs. Through extensive research, GCRA has pioneered methodologies to help reefs survive and recover from diseases and anthropogenic damage caused by excessive nutrients, climate change and physical destruction.
Mineral Accretion Accelerates Coral Growth
In pilot installations in Mexico, Panama, Indonesia, Maldives, Thailand, and Papua New Guinea, we have built artificial reefs where corals grow rapidly even in stressed environments.
Applying a low voltage electrical current (completely safe for swimmers and marine life) to a submerged conductive structure causes dissolved minerals in seawater to precipitate and adhere to that structure. The result is a composite of limestone and brucite with mechanical strength similar to concrete. Mined directly from seawater, this material is similar to the composition of natural coral reefs and tropical sand beaches.