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Artificial Reef Fish Habitat

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#1 Marc Furth

Marc Furth

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 04:11 PM

For anyone interested I'm doing a underwater fish habitat in my home town of Lauderdale by the Sea. I've teamed up with Dr. Thomas Goreau from Global Coral Reef Alliance to place one of the first artificial reefs of it's kind in the US, It's called Biorock and it's a patented process. I've been working on the project for a year and finally got the approval from my town government and funding. I've reprinted a article from my local paper below and a link to Global Coral Reef Alliance if your interested to learn more about Biorock technology.



Artificial Reef Fish Habitat Restoration Project Approved By Commission

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea has been proclaimed "The Shore Dive Capital of Florida" by the Broward County Board of Commissioners. People come from all over the country to dive and snorkel on the coral reef located just offshore about half the distance of the fishing pier. In former years, there were large hard corals, sea fans, and crowds of fish, but there has been a progressive and profound decline in their numbers in recent years. Hard and soft corals have been attacked by several coral diseases and by algae overgrowth (both linked to sewage releases into the coastal waters), global warming, hurricane damage, and beach restoration. Because of the loss of hard and soft corals, the quality of the fish habitat is in decline as are the number and kinds of fish to be seen. Most of the area now looks like a lunar landscape of bare rock with few fish. Restoring the quality of the habitat for fish, divers, and fishermen will require reversing the habitat decline by actually growing more corals.

In an effort to rehabilitate our once-teeming reef, the LBTS Commission has joined forces with Dr. Thomas Goreau, President of Global Coral Reef Alliance and former LBTS Commissioner and professional underwater photographer Marc Furth to establish an artificial reef fish habitat in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea using state of the art Biorock technology. This process uses a safe, low voltage direct current that causes solid limestone rock to grow out of seawater over steel structures of any size or shape. Biorock technology is unique because it speeds up coral growth about 3-5 times, increases healing of broken corals by more than 20 times, and allows corals to survive extreme stress conditions like high temperature and pollution 16-50 times more effectively than surrounding reefs. The corals survive and grow better because they are being supplied with energy to grow and heal by the low voltage trickle charge. Consequently, corals survive conditions that would normally kill them and can be grown in places where they cannot recover naturally. Biorock reefs attract large amounts of fish making them tremendous attractions for snorkelers and divers.

Similar projects in over a dozen countries around the world have won half a dozen major international prizes for environmental eco-tourism and coastal zone management. Although no other technology of coral reef restoration has these advantages, there are currently no Biorock coral reef restoration projects in the United States. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea's pioneering restoration efforts will serve as a model for the entire Florida Artificial Reef Program and help it move towards more effective and innovative technology throughout the State. LBTS will be able to identify itself as both the Shore Dive Capital of Florida and the Coral Garden Restoration Capital of the United States in 2008 when up to 10,000 coral reef scientists and managers from all over the world come to attend the International Coral Reef Symposium in Ft. Lauderdale. LBTS has a unique opportunity to identify itself as the leader in marine restoration. The only alternative will be to allow the ongoing deterioration to continue and show the experts the lunar landscape offshore, telling them that "Really, there once was a reef here".

The St. Lawrence Gallery, located on the Galt Ocean Mile (3556 N. Ocean Blvd.) will be hosting an exhibition of Marc Furth's extensive photographic collection of the corals and creatures that inhabit the LBTS reefs on Thursday, July 20 from 6-9 pm. Marc will be joined by Dan and Stephanie Clark, founders of Cry of the Water, an organization that monitors the health of our coral reefs off the coast of Broward County. Marc, Dan, and Stephanie will be happy to discuss the particulars of the restoration project as well as the current state of our fragile coastal reef system.

Signed prints of Marc's exquisite photography will be available for sale and 10% of sales will be donated to the restoration project. The St. Lawrence Gallery will also, generously, donate 10% of any gallery sales during the evening to the project as well
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#2 Scubaskeeter


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Posted 11 July 2006 - 06:13 PM

Way to go Marc! I researched this technology several years ago, it is remarkable how fast coral grows with electric stimulation. I think this is great technology if used near an area with easy access. Keep us posted.