Sculptures Help Rebuild Disappearing Coral Reefs

Sculptures Help Rebuild Disappearing Coral Reefs

Scientists and artists create steel structures that help accelerate the growth of these living entities.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 3 july 2013

The earth’s coral reefs are disappearing due to several causes including the changing sea temperatures, pollution, carbon absorption, and human intervention.

The Global Coral Reef Alliance (GCRA) has worked for several years to develop technologies and solutions that would help restore the oceans’ reefs and ensure that underwater life continue to thrive.

The late Professor Wolf Hilbertz and Dr. Tom Goreau of the GCRA developed a patented technology and method called mineral accretion or Biorock®, which uses low voltage electrical currents to grow limestone structures on steel sculptures, thereby creating artificial reefs.

The process helps corals grow much faster than they normally do and helps protect the reefs from diseases and damage. The structures also attract a lot of fish that make their homes in the new reefs.

Professor Hilbertz and Dr. Goreau conduct international workshops that teach artists, welders, and scientists how to create the steel structures for coral reef restoration projects. They have conducted these workshops in places like Pemuteran, Bali and The Gili Islands in Indonesia.


Watch the video below to see how one of these steel sculptures are created.

Global Coral Reef Alliance // Biorock®

Images by EunJae Im via Biorock®


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