Repairing coral reef systems with eco-friendly concrete balls

submitted by: Institute for Social Inventions

Summarised from an item by Michael Menduno, entitled 'Reefer Madness', in Wired magazine (September 1998), monitored for the Institute by Roger Knights. Additional up-to-date information from the Reefball website: http://www.reefball.org/ .

The destruction of coral reefs around the world is occuring at such a rate that there are estimated to be almost 30,000 square miles of dead reefs around the world, and the number is rising all the time. A new foundation hopes to stop the decline with patented 'Reef Balls' made of ecofriendly concrete which are designed to mimic natural reef systems. They can be towed behind any size of boat, and then be sunk to create habitats for fish and other marine species. The Reef Ball Foundation also works with schools and communities on educational projects, as well as with governments and eco-charities around the world. Its aim is to help restore the ecosystems of the oceans, which primarily involves repairing and preserving natural reef systems.

'Each one is three-by-four feet and looks rather like a piece of Emmenthal cheese made of stone. They can have algae or other plant material attached to them, or can have living coral reef planted in them to stimulate growth'

Over 200 projects have been running worldwide, from a Boy Scout program in Florida to a marine turtle sanctuary in Malaysia. And the new Reef Balls are at the centre of the restoration process. Each one is three-by-four feet and looks rather like a piece of Emmenthal cheese made of stone. They can have algae or other plant material attached to them, or can have living coral reef planted in them to stimulate growth. Gradually, sponges, crab and shrimp will also be attracted back to their replacement habitat. Todd Barber, the chairman of the foundation (and its associated company that makes the balls), intends to sink over one million of the concrete balls into the ocean near the Phillippines where some of the most serious damage to the reefs has occurred. It is action on this scale that is now necessary, and sinking concrete balls could save the 'rainforests of the oceans' before it is too late.

For more information, contact the Reef Ball Foundation, 603 River Overlook Road, Woodstock, GA 30188, USA (tel: (USA) 770-752-0202; fax: 770-360-1328; web: http://www.reefball.org/; e-mail: kkirbo@hotmail.com).

Further news

Summarised from information from the Artificial Reefs website (www.artificialreefs.org/Articles

A company called Eternal Reefs is now offering individuals the chance to make a permanent difference in helping the environment - after they have died. It is now possible to contribute cremated remains to a personalised 'Memorial Reef', as part of ongoing development projects to restore deteriorating coral systems (see above). The person's ashes are mixed into a specially designed artificial reef unit which then goes on to form part of the reef restoration project. Eternal Reefs' founder Don Brawley says that, "It is the only permanent, environmentally positive option available today for memorializing an individual's passing....A Memorial Reef becomes an idyllic, eco-friendly resting place, a physical legacy where the remains of one's existence are also part catalyst for a new cycle of life." While he may be pressing the point somewhat, the fact remains that such a memorial would have a much more positive contribution on the environment than simply sprinkling them in the sea.


You can give a rating to this scheme overall. Click 0-10 below and press the Submit button.
Bad Scheme <- 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -> Great Scheme
As of 04/29/2002, 15 people have rated this page with the overall rating (0-100%) of: 83%
Search the Global Ideas bank (ONE WORD ONLY)
E-mail comments to the Global Ideas Bank at mailto:rhino@dial.pipex.com?subject=Comment on /showidea.php?idea=2937
Submit your own idea or project to the Global Ideas Bank.
The Global Ideas Bank home page is http://www.globalideasbank.org/
View or order from the list of innovative publications from the Global Ideas Bank

For death & dying, woodland burials etc see http://www.naturaldeath.org.uk/
For placements in small businesses see ApprenticeMaster Alliance
For reciting poems by heart for a non-profit cause see the Poetry Challenge
For free country walks near London see http://www.walkingclub.org.uk/
For Canaries (Gomera) walking holidays see http://www.gomera.org.uk/
May is Touch for Health month
On Sunday January 26th 2003, it's International Internet-Free Day
On Monday May 6th 2002, it's International Neighbourhood Day
For participatory groups and events in every city in the world see http://www.dobe.org/ or click on the image below.