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May 05, 2005 AD - 02:07 PM
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Reef Research & AwarenessThe Reef Ball Foundation Begins Project in Thailand
Posted by: Cindy on Apr 12, 2005 AD - 01:26 AM

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The Reef Ball Foundation with support from the government of Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Reef Ball Thailand and Racha and Racha Sea Masters are jhrad at work in the Phuket Coral Rehabilitation project. This volunteer diver post-tsunami work is designed to aid in the environmental and economic recovery of the Phuket region. The Reef Ball Foundation sent a team to Racha Island for the Coral Restoration Project beginning April 4, 2005. This project is underway and will be completed in just inder one month with the dedicated work of 31 volunteers from 11 different countries.

This restoration project is economically feasible and can be done in a short period of time because of the advanced technology incorporated into the Reef Ball design. In a month, our team can help the natural environment recover more quickly as well as aid the area on the way to economic revitalization,” explains Kathy Kirbo, Executive Director of the Reef Ball Foundation.

Reef Balls are made by pouring concrete into a fiberglass mold containing a central Polyform buoy surrounded by various sized inflatable balls to make holes. Additives are used in the concrete to give the Reef Balls high strength and to make the concrete suitable for marine life growth. They are designed so that over half of the weight is in the bottom near the sea floor. All sizes of Reef Balls have withstood, without movement, heavy tropical storms in as little as 20 feet of water.

“Damaged and imperiled corals will be stabilized onto the Reef Balls. By using unique fragmentation methods we will make hundreds of coral fragments that will be planted onto the Reef Balls. Juvenile fish whose natural habitat was destroyed in the tsunami can also find their homes rebuilt on these new reefs,” explains Kirbo.

The five new Reefs will also be used for educational purposes and to create new dive locations. Since the tsunami damaged the infrastructure on most of the other outer islands, the Racha Island Bay has become even more popular. The five new Reefs will relieve the pressure on these damaged natural reefs and create new locations for tourists and residents to enjoy.

To learn more read the full story at: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/GD08Ae04.html

Source: Asia Times

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