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Over 50% of the world’s coral reefs have died in the last 50 years. That’s A LOT. Specially because they’re not rock-like things, they’re actually pretty much alive, and act as a base for city-like ecosystems all around the world. They’re home to so many forms of life that it’d take days to name them all, and give shelter to fish species that feed over half a billion people. Oh, and they protect our costs from waves, tides and erosion. Yay.
Nursing pools and micro fragmentation can be used to grow coral larvae in a controlled environment. Normally, it takes a couple of years for a coral to grow from the size of a golf ball to an ice cream scoop. But after a happy accident, Dr. David Vaughan found that breaking them into smaller pieces can accelerate its growth rate up to 50 times. Using this micro-fragmentation technique, his team went from producing 600 corals in six years to 1000 corals in three or four months.
3D Printing reefs. Yep, you read that right, but it’s not quite what you think. Turns out, coral larvae love cracked rocks and small spaces that protect them from strong currents. 3D printing structures that mimic those coral faves help us grow new colonies where it wasn’t possible before, and makes planting lab-grown colonies into the wild easier than traditional methods.
Partnering with local organizations to foster research and plant newly grown systems.