We live in the century of inventions. Each day we are reaching greater heights and covering longer distances with the help of technology. Commercialism and Globalization has connected us all and provided us with many lifestyle options. We strive to become stronger better faster everyday. With this mentality we forget to stop and observe the process that has made things possible and within our reach. In our pursuit for the greater achievements we often forget the essential needs of our generation and our impact on our surrounding environment.
Oceans have been the lifeblood of our planet. It provides more than half of the Oxygen in the atmosphere and absorbs most of the Carbon. No matter how far from the ocean we live, our lives depend on the health of the oceans. “The air that you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, the products that keep you warm, safe, informed, and entertained – all can come from or be transported by the ocean”
Coral Reef are a vital part of the oceans ecosystem. They control the amount of carbon oxide in the ocean, which makes them critical to the food chain. Moreover Coral reefs protect coastlines, provide habitat for a variety of marine life. The fishing industry depends on the reefs as many fish spawn there before heading to the open sea. However unsustainable and excessive fishing, ocean dumping and climate change has lead to a massive coral die-off or coral bleaching worldwide. Being a sensitive complex organism, the health of corals is an indicator of the ocean’s health at large. The huge decline in corals is an alarming sign of the damaged ecosystem.
This calls us to explore methods to help rejuvenate and restore the coral reefs. Our proposal is to design a mega-coral that could propagate the coral reef. This Coral Propagation Pod is inspired by an invention of architect/marine scientist Prof. Wolf Hilbertz and marine biologist Dr. Thomas J. Goreau. Their invention of Biorock has been an effective solution for coral propagation by passing electric current through sea water. It has been shown that on applying low voltage electric current to submerged conductive structure causes dissolved minerals in seawater to precipitate (calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide) and form a coating on the structure. The result is a composite material that is similar to the composition of natural coral reefs. Upon transplantation of coral fragments on this composite, the corals begin to bond with it and grow at a much faster rate. This growth has been found to be three to five times faster than the normal rate.
Our proposed design envisions a sanctuary of corals that could stand as a focal point for researches, divers, ocean enthusiasts who want to learn about coral behavior.
Maintained at significant a distance from the main shore, this Coral Propagation Pod would provide an opportunity for people to dive deeper into the world of corals. Studying the nature of the environment around us would make us more sensitive towards our choices and how they impact our planet at large.