The project was first proposed in 2005 and is intended to stimulate the growth of limestone corals near Lauderdale-by-the-Sea just south of Anglin’s Pier. In the not to distant past, the late Professor Wolf Hilbertz began working with Dr. Thomas Goreau, a coral reef specialist, to use the process to restore coral reefs. The process of Electrodeposition of Minerals in Sea Water known as Mineral Accretion Technology was developed by Architect, Marine Scientist, Prof. Wolf H. Hilbertz, through extensive experimental applications, demonstration projects commenced in 1974, covering artificial reefs, coastal defense structures, shoreline stabilization – erosion control, mariculture, and marine construction. They and their students have built hundreds of Biorock coral reef and oyster reef restoration projects in more than 20 countries including Mexico, Jamaica, Indonesia, the Maldives.
Installation was initiated in late September and early October last year (2011). A low-voltage electrical current will stimulate the limestone corals will grow from a frame of rebar attached to the sea floor. Already a popular destination for scuba divers, the town is hoping the reef project will further enhance its reputation in the diving community.
The Global Coral Reef Alliance and another group, Vone Research Inc. of Pompano Beach, will be responsible for reporting, monitoring, transporting coral and repairing the project during the next two years.
Located about 100 yards offshore south of the Commercial Boulevard Pier, the coral reef project will feature two solar-powered buoys about 30 feet apart attached to the steel rebar frame. A 17-volt electrical current is expected to cause the coral to grow two to six times faster than normal. They have run a low-voltage current through steel frames to stimulate the growth of corals, creating habitat for fish, crabs and other marine creatures. Shaped like airplane hangars, the six undersea structures each stretch 6 feet along the ocean floor. Two buoys with solar panels would deliver electricity through insulated cables.
“You’re not supposed to touch it, but there’s no danger to divers,” a town official said.
Here is where I get on my soapbox, day one Sunday (1/24/12) when we arrived we saw a boat parked anchor on the reef about 10 feet from the buoys put in place to collect the sun’s rays. Why, after spending and investing all this money, is LDBS local enforcement of FWC not giving the ignorant boater am education or a ticket? I know I was not the only diver who thought about stopping and saying…”hey excuse me DUMBASS, but did you know you are parked right on a reef stimulation project while you are fishing?” in my nicest, kindest, biggest smile on my face voice I can muster of course.
He was there at least 6 hours.
The first four months are supposed to be the most critical. I checked out the pics from a local hotels site and I can tell you that here is growth here already. Small seaplants and a nice healthy looking coral growing in the middle.
John McManus — director of the National Center for Coral Reef Research at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science — said that though he did not oppose the project, the technology “doesn’t seem to do much after the first four months — but the first four months are critical.” Well, my intention is to keep videotaping my trips there over the next few years so everyone can see the growth.
Also here are two pics form the Maldive Biorock project, first one from 1997, second one from April, 1999.
Restoration of coral growth under “impossible” conditions. In the Maldives in 1998 only 1-5% of corals survived heatstroke caused by global warming, but in the same habitats, 50-80% of the corals on Biorock structures survived.
If you want to see more growth and biorock project go to Biorock.net
I am told that bits of live coral knocked off by boats or storms is supposed to be attached to the frame in the future. I am wondering how? Also is this something that they want local divers to be putting on or near the structure for them?
Just a thought but perhaps it would be good to get with a local dive shop, like Gold Coast Scuba and inform them a bit more on the whole process. I chatted with Brian last week and he said they are going to be doing a cleanup and education thing in the summer. I am sure I am not the only diver that loves this place and would like to help in anyway we could.
I will be loading a video soon.