The Biorock® method is the only restoration method known that produces the natural limestone which corals need to grow on. It also accelerates coral growth, healing, and resistance to stress due to antropological impacts and climate change. It uses electric or solor energy to directly increase coral growth, allowing it to survive conditions that would be fatal and allowing reefs to be restored where they cannot recover naturally. Biorock® reef corals provide superior habitat for fish and shellfish, and have made severely eroding beaches in the Maldives grow 15 meters in a few years. Biorock® reefs in the Maldives and Indonesia have more corals and fish than surviving natural coral reefs around them, making them prize-winning eco-tourism attractions.
The CTC has been certified for Biorock construction and maintenance. In 2012 two suspended test Biorock reefs were built in Batangas, Philippines with further plans to integrate Biorock reef building in Palawan Philippines in 2013 in connection with daily operations of the CTC solar powered Catamaran.
The illustration demonstrates a unique method for enhancing coral growth through mineral accretion or the Biorock® process.
The metal structures, which can be designed to be any shape or size are submerged in sea water. A safe, low voltage, electric current is applied which flows through the metal frame. The electric field causes minerals in seawater to precipitate and adhere to the metallic frame.
The result is a composite of limestone and brucite (CaCO3) with a composition similar to that of natural coral reefs and tropical sand beaches. The structures form ideal foundations on which attached corals grow and flourish. This is the Biorock® process.
Robust coral formations, along with the natural protection from the Biorock® structure, soon attracts a wide variety of fish and other aquatic life making the site ideal for snorkelers and divers.
Some advantages of Biorock:
- 4x-8x faster growth rates for a variety of coral species with more color and branching.
- Apart from the metal matrix, no alien material is introduced.
- It is not necessary to transport large amounts of construction material to the site.
- The cathode (matrix) can be made in any shape desired and can therefore be integrated in the natural topography of the reef.
- The material is similar to natural rock and offers a substrate for settlement not only by epibenthic butalso by endolithic organisms.
- Almost all the required materials (cables, fasteners, anodes, power supply) can be reused.
- The entire structure can be dissolved again by changing the polarity.
Interview with CTC Director, Scott Countryman, about the applications of the Biorock technology