If you’ve paid any attention to the state of coral reefs you know that the situation is pretty grim – only 20% of global tropical reefs are in good condition with roughly half having collapsed in recent years. The good news is that new technologies are entering our oceans to help turn this situation around- and do so in a fraction of the time required by natural processes.
rrreefs is a Swiss-based Not-For-Profit organization pioneering a scalable solution for ecosystem regeneration, through the use of modular 3D printed clay structures to support and enhance coastal ocean life. Ocean acidification, pollution, and overfishing are ever-present threats to ocean life and rrreefs believes that these challenges can be overcome in part by simply creating more spaces rebuilding lost habitats to support the ocean’s existing biodiversity.
Their innovative hollow lego-like brick lattice provides a profound number of niches for ocean life, in a way augmenting the natural role of coral reefs on the ocean floor. Each brick has a finely textured eco-engineered surface, offering a home to hundreds of organisms each.
As a completely modular system, their synthetic reef supports be constructed to complement natural tides and topography, providing erosion protection and a wide variety of niches. The bricks are 3D printed in clay and heat treated, providing an ideal substrate for corals to attach to and grow. Better yet, this design can be produced locally using open-source plans, creating new jobs globally in ecosystem restoration.
Ultimately this biodiversity gives a food source and growing medium for new corals to take root, turning a man-made structure into a vibrant and diverse biological community.
In this episode you will learn:
- What are the core challenges facing global oceanic biodiversity
- Why coral reefs are exceptionally important for ocean biodiversity and the carbon cycle
- How their design evolved by using both art and deep environmental research
- Their results from real-world testing off the coast of Colombia
- How Rrreefs plans to scale its impact