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Human Effort Planet Care

84: Cooling Coral

Problem:

Bleached coral reefs are dying around the world due to ocean anthropogenic global warming.

Solution:

Bring down the temperatures of the waters around the reefs by bringing up cooler water from deeper in the ocean. The problem is finding a long enough pipe.


Mo Ehsani, the Centennial Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at the University of Arizona has developed innovative solutions for infrastructure renewal and repair for over 30 years.

Having pioneered the field of repair and strengthening of structures using fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) products Ehsani left the full time academic world in 2010 to devote his time to the management of QuakeWrap, Inc., a company he founded in 1994.

His products have been used in the construction industry to repair high pressure pipelines, freeway underpasses, marine piles, historical structures and more.

One of these products, called StifPipe®, received the 2016 ASCE Innovation Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers as the world’s first green and sustainable pipe.

His game-changing technology for onsite-manufactured continuous pipe, called InfinitPipe, plays a significant part in the proposed coral reef bleaching answer through piping that is long enough to continually feed cooler water from nearby greater depths to the heat-stressed coral in the shallows.

The Seychelles is a 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.​ In 2010 Nirmal Shah and a team of Reef Rescuers of  the Nature Seychelles set about restoring the coral bleaching within Cousin Island Special Reserve.

Utilising the ‘coral gardening’ concept, fragments of healthy coral were collected, raised in underwater nurseries and then transplanted onto a degraded reef. In eight years, 50,000 corals have been raised in underwater nurseries, of which over 24,000 were successfully transplanted, covering the area of a football field 5,600 ft² (5,225 m2).

Based on this experience, in December 2019, Nature Seychelles presented their toolkit to provide guidelines on how to complete a successful coral restoration project at the Reef Futures Symposium held in Key Largo, Florida. Six participating countries in the India Ocean, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius and Rodrigues have benefitted from the solution.

What you can do: Make a donation to Nature Seychelles.

Tomorrow’s solution : Green Christmas trees, in more way than one

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