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Date: Aug 16 2000 20:19:59 EDT
From: "Reef Ball's Interested List" <>
Subject: Reef Ball Update

1) We're back from Pago Pago and the Coral Reef Task Force Meetings.  The
overriding theme of the meeting was to meet the Presidental mandate to
protect 20% of US coral reefs by the year 2010.   

2) Thanks to our work with C.O.R.L., SeaQuest, Fish and Wildlife (of
American Somoa), Marine Biologists at the Community College (of American
Somoa) plus the pioneering work of Dr.Austin Kirby Bowden, Coralations,
G.A.R.F. and thousands of marine aquarium hobbyists, Reef Ball is now
introducing Reef Ball molds in Bay Ball and larger sizes with
modifications to accept standardized asexual coral propagation plugs.
Training is available from several organizations on the creation and
farming of these plugs...usually from 2nd or 3rd generation mother corals
to insure no damage to natural reefs.   Some organizations, such as
Applied Marine Technologies, even offer pre-farmed plugs raised in
aquacultured conditions.  Although special permits are usually required to
undertake this type of work, it is simple enough for classrooms, dive
clubs, local governmental staffs or others to accomplish with high degrees
of success.  And the technology is not expensive!  In fact, with
volunteers doing the work it is practically free!

This technology is superior to past governmental "restoration" works where
coral heads were essentially transplanted whole which resulted in high
mortally rates because the corals were not properly adapted to the new
location in terms of lighting, currents and other conditions.
Additionally, this newer method does not require harming the existing
coral heads in the wild.  With asexual propagation techniques, coral reef
revitalization can be speeded up tremendously.  However, the Reef Balls
must still be designed to allow additional natural settlement of new
corals to make sure that species diversity of the natural reefs is
ultimately achieved.

Expect this work to be the standard of excellence for areas where slow
growing hard corals have discouraged the use of designed artificial reefs
due to the longer time horizons required to achieve a natural balance.

Existing Reef Ball reefs can be retrofitted with this technology, but the
propagation techniques are more time consuming than with the newly
developed standardized plug receptacles. However, it is simple to adapt
your existing Reef Ball molds to the new technology so that future Reef
Balls made with your molds can accept the standardized propagation plugs.

3) NJ Artificial Reef Program reports another 700 Reef Balls to be
deployed this summer.

4) There are lots of new projects starting this month and next....more
news as we catch up with our office work from our travels....



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