Coral reefs are the most biodiverse ecosystems on our planet. Tragically, we see them dying at a rapid pace worldwide. The main reasons for this are climate change, pollution, and overfishing. Studies by UNESCO and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) show that coral reefs will very likely be gone in 30 years if we do not act now. Their demise is a global catastrophe. It threatens the entire balance of the ocean and the well-being of us humans.
When corals die, the complex 3D structure of the reef gets gradually lost. This means that reef animals are being deprived of their homes, especially young animals that have their nursery in the reefs. This also applies to many important commercial fish species living as adults in the open ocean. Biodiversity is dropping rapidly, a downward spiral kicks in and the reef has little chance of recovering. But it is not just the seas that suffer; The effects are also clearly noticeable on land. Reefs provide vital food and income to island states and coastal communities. They act as natural protective barriers, absorbing more than 90% of the wave energy, protecting beaches and coastlines from flooding and erosion. In addition, they continuously produce new sand, without which there would be no tropical beaches.
We rebuild destroyed and dying coral reefs! Sustainably, scientifically and with an aesthetic vision. We have developed a Lego-like system 3D printed from natural materials. Our reef bricks are easy to use and can be stacked underwater like Lego. We can adjust the shape of each reef individually, to direct currents or break waves. The surface of the stones was specially designed to help coral babies settle and grow. In addition, our underwater structures provide habitats for thousands of reef animals and help to restore a natural balance in the ecosystem.
This year in September we built our first pilot reef in Colombia. All sorts of fish moved in during construction and after just a few weeks the reef was full of life. The first coral larvae will probably settle any moment. Our monitoring will show this in the next few weeks - we are already very excited!
The construction of our pilot reef was embedded in a scientific teaching workshop in order to promote environmental education at the same time as the installation and to create awareness of the crisis of coral extinction. We have worked closely with local organizations to ensure that the reef blends in well with the environment and brings added value to the local community and everyone else involved. Environmental education and local partnerships will continue to play a central role in the implementation of our projects.