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Here’s The Scoop … The Lauderdale- By-The- Sea Artificial Reef Project … Will The Coral Growth Be More Successful Than Implementing The Program? …

COMING ANYTIME SOON? …..

Article w/photo of Dr. Goreau Oct. 26, 2007….

Dear Readers …the issue of the Artificial Reef Project has been put on the Sept. 14th agenda by Vice Mayor Dodd and the first draft of the letter concerning the breach of the present contract per the Commission’s 3-2 vote on Aug. 25th has been done… The new contract is being drawn up by the TAtty….At the same time VM Dodd went to the Furth’s where the buoy still sits out front.. (prev. post) …and did some tests of his own followed up by tests done by the builder of the original buoy … There is some discrepancies that need to be addressed with the findings  …We hear there is also some he said-he said from some of the players … that need to be worked out along with the new contract … Quite an eye-opener when we also heard some problems came to the project and the vendor via the former  Town Administration!…

The question now is what happens with the original buoy …where it goes…who takes ownership…who wants ownership… There are 2 new buoys rapidly being built in place of the original…They are said to be smaller in design with one flat solar panel vs the multi-angled panels on the much larger/heavier yellow version stationed at Furth’s motel… (prev. posts)… We were  told Dr. Goreau will be here this month per the Administration …but he is non-responsive to Town in the meantime …

Just a reminder …this project was introduced to the Town in 2006 and in front of the Commission for financing in 2007…. The Town Manager included those 2007 dates of Feb. 13th and Sept.25th in her report on July 14, 2010…This writer found some other earlier agenda items addressing the Reef issue..including an alternative brought forth by former Mayor Parker that appears never come back to the dais as so often was the case in the prior two Administrations…

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“Town Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
May 23, 2006

C. Update on Reef Restoration as previously presented by Marc Furth (Marc Furth/Mayor Oliver Parker)
Marc Furth, 4525 El Mar Drive, provided an update regarding the proposal for the reef restoration. He indicated that due to busy hurricane season, the project had been temporarily put on hold. Mr. Furth stated that in light of the new sitting Commission, he wished to allow Dr. Tom Goreau, president of the Global Coral Reef Alliance, make a brief presentation.
Dr. Goreau provided a brief description of the types of damages sustained by the reef. He indicated that the International Coral Reef Symposium would be held in Fort Lauderdale in 2008 and felt it would be a unique opportunity to illustrate how reef restoration could be accomplished. Dr. Goreau provided an explanation of how the project would proceed and the advantages that could be expected. He provided a PowerPoint presentation that depicted various projects underway that had been successful.
Dr. Goreau stated that he was proposing to prepare an 80-foot reef, at a height of three feet. He indicated that since the area experienced a high amount of wave activity, the lower reef would be preferable.
Mayor Parker stated that it was his understanding that $30,000 was being requested to begin the project. Dr. Goreau stated that he estimated that the project would cost $60,000. He indicated that this would include eight 10-foot long units, plus permits. Mr. Furth stated that with the Commission’s approval, the paperwork could be started with a promise for funding in the amount of $60,000 in the upcoming fiscal year.
Mayor Parker asked that this item be included in the budget presentation for consideration once the proper documentation was provided.
Commissioner Silverstone expressed concern with dredging of sand as the beach to the south of the pier was to be expanded. Mr. Furth stated that the reef could be installed to the north of the pier, but did not believe that the dredging would affect the project. Dr. Goreau stated that if the reef was protected, dredging would not be permitted.
Commissioner Silverstone asked how long it would take to construct the reef. Dr. Goreau replied that the project would be complete within weeks once the permits were in place. He explained that results would be seen within days of completing the project. Dr. Goreau stated that one of the important issues to resolve was the matter of obtaining electricity.
Commissioner McIntee stated that this was a phenomenal idea and felt that the project should be approved now, with funding to be allocated during the budget process. He asked that this issue be placed on the agenda for discussion in three weeks.”

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” Town Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
June 13, 2006
D. Discussion and/or action regarding Fish Habitat Pilot Program (Marc Furth) (continued from May 23, 2006)
Marc Furth stated that in order to request the seed money from the Town, a signed contract was necessary. He explained that he did not have a contract at this time and requested that some of the seed money be provided prior to the new fiscal year for permitting and the surveying that was needed to proceed. In response to Mayor Pro Tem Clark, Mr. Furth explained that the seed money needed was approximately $12,000. He gave his word as a former commissioner that the funds would be spent wisely and the contract fulfilled.
Mayor Pro Tem Clark asked how long it would be before the Commission had a contract it could review. Mr. Furth was unsure, but felt that it should be completed within the next meeting.

Mayor Pro Tem Clark made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Silverstone, to include this project with the Town’s Capital Improvement Program for the upcoming fiscal year. In a roll call vote, all voted in favor. The motion carried 5-0.

Mayor Pro Tem Clark made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Silverstone,

authorizing up to $15,000 in seed money from this year’s budget, provided a satisfactory contract is approved by the Commission.
Ms. Medina asked if the Commission wished to identify where the funds would be taken from. Manager Baldwin advised that he was unsure which account should be used at this time, but indicated that he would advise the Commission at a later date.
In a roll call vote, all voted in favor. The motion carried 5-0.”

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“Town Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

June 27, 2006
4. PRESENTATIONS

C. Atlantis Reef Society (Dr. Scott Woodburn)
Dr. Scott Woodburn and Dr. Michael Haley described the products being offered and presented documentation and proposals for the Commission’s consideration. Mayor Parker asked if the cost to the Town consisted of the permits fees, with the Society obtaining funds to proceed with the project. Dr. Woodburn stated that the Society was searching for a Commission-based program. He explained that while the Society did not want to be a burden to the Town, it would require community involvement in order to
move forward. He indicated that the Society would design and move forward with the project of completing a feasibility study. Dr. Woodburn explained that if the Town was interested, he and Dr. Haley would meet with the Town Manager and move forward with the implementation of the project.
Manager Baldwin stated that there was a competing reef project which had been approved by the Commission and asked if this project was in addition to the existing proposal. Mayor Parker replied affirmatively.
Mayor Pro Tem Clark made a motion, seconded by Vice Mayor Yanni, directing that negotiations be held with the Town Administration to determine the next step.
Commissioner McIntee asked if there were any similar projects within the State of Florida. Dr. Woodburn replied negatively, but indicated that there was a smaller project that had just been installed in the Florida Keys. Commissioner McIntee asked what was the cost for fund-raising on behalf of the Town. Dr. Woodburn replied that the Society would obtain 10 to 15 percent for its education programs. Commissioner McIntee stated that he did not believe the Town should allow its name and its logo to be used for fund-raising while 10 to 15 percent of the proceeds were used for private industry. Dr. Woodburn advised that the Society was not in this business for the purposes of collecting funds, but agreed that as a not-for-profit organization it also required revenues to proceed with its projects and educational programs. Some discussion followed concerning the various programs for reef restoration.
Vice Mayor Yanni questioned how much it would cost the Town if insufficient funds were collected. Dr. Woodburn stated that he was unsure what the total cost would be. Mayor Parker explained that he had been under the impression that the Town only had to pay for the required permit fees.
In response to Commissioner Silverstone, Dr. Haley stated that maintenance of the reef project was recommended. He indicated, however, that he had no objections to training other individuals to take over the maintenance.
Mayor Parker asked for confirmation that the motion permitted the Town Manager to further discuss the project without approving funds. He felt that while he had no objections to diving into two projects, he did not want to fund two separate projects.
Mayor Pro Tem Clark amended his motion to include a provision that the Society meet with the Town Manager prior to further consideration, having the Society provide the Town Manager with a written business plan, copies of financial statements for the past three years, references providing the company’s track record, a proposed three-year budget to the Town Manager prior to meeting for further discussions. Vice Mayor Yanni amended his second. In a roll call vote, the motion carried 4-1, with Commissioner McIntee dissenting.

BC- Readers…did you catch it?… “Mr. Furth explained that the seed money needed was approximately $12,000. He gave his word as a former commissioner that the funds would be spent wisely and the contract fulfilled.”…Hmmm…… Yep, the same former Commissioner who has had the original buoy sitting in front of his motel …

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A Google this writer made of “Electrical Reef Restoration Projects” was done after not doing so in quite a while …Once again it produced some previously seen info… such as Cong. Ron Klein’s remarks  in September 2009…

Excerpt…full text link below…

‘Klein Applauds Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Coral Reef Restoration Project
09/03/09

Boca Raton, FL – Congressman Ron Klein (FL-22) today hailed Lauderdale-by-the-Sea receiving approval for construction of our nation’s first Biorock coral reef.”

“In South Florida, we have the third largest coral reef ecosystem in the world, and we take seriously our responsibility to preserve this national treasure. It is critical we protect these coral reefs, which are a first-line of defense against hurricanes and storm surges for our coastal communities like Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. I look forward to seeing Lauderdale-by-the Sea embark on this landmark project.”

http://klein.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=57&parentid=23&sectiontree=23,57&itemid=848

Also some articles in June and July 2009 in the Sentinel/LATimes etc… on the project getting the “Green light”… from the Army Corp of Engineers included this. remark ..(LATimes 2009)…

Excerpt…full text link below….

“Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is known as one of the best spots for beach diving because the reefs are accessible from shore. Steve d’Oliveira, spokesman for Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, said the town supported the project.”

“We want it done as soon as possible,” he said.”

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/28/nation/na-electrified-reef28

Some other Google searches showed some other interesting information …from earlier years…2008/2006 & 2005 ….
“Lauderdale-by-the-sea will try electricity to stimulate coral growth off South Florida coast

Low voltage current to stimulate coral growth off our coast.

SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL / By David Fleshler / October 7, 2008

The thunderclaps and lightning flashes of Victor Frankenstein’s laboratory seem far removed from the sunshine, hotels and snorkelers of the South Florida coast.

But the town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is pursuing the dream of using electricity to help generate life.

The town plans to install a cluster of electrified artificial reefs off the beach and run a low-voltage current through steel frames to stimulate the growth of corals, creating habitat for fish, crabs and other marine creatures. Shaped like airplane hangars, the six undersea structures each would stretch 6 feet along the ocean floor. Two buoys with solar panels would deliver electricity through insulated cables.

Coral reefs, often called the rain forests of the ocean, have been battered by global warming, pollution, overfishing and ship groundings. Hoping to reinvigorate its reefs, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea has approved a $60,000 contract with Global Coral Reef Alliance of Cambridge, Mass., which has constructed electrified reefs in Mexico, Jamaica, Indonesia, the Maldives and other countries.

If you go

What and When: Public hearing; March 4, 7-9 p.m.

Where: International Game Fish Association, 300 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach

Comments: May also be sent to:

Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources Division

National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office

263 13th Ave. South

St. Petersburg, FL 33701

or on the Web at www.regulations.gov, using the identification number 0648-AV35.

The deadline for comments is May 6. The electric current, too weak to harm swimmers or fish, draws dissolved calcium carbonate and other minerals from seawater, helping corals build their skeletons.

But some scientists aren’t sure a jolt of electricity is what South Florida’s reefs need.

“There are no peer-reviewed papers that I’m aware of that really document that corals grow faster or better on it,” said Richard Dodge, executive director of the National Coral Reef Institute at Nova Southeastern University.

John McManus, director of the National Center for Coral Reef Research at the University of Miami, said there’s no doubt steel frames will grow coral, if only because they provide a surface off the murky floor of the ocean. But while a mild electric current stimulates coral growth initially, he said it’s unclear whether the benefit continues after the coral has thickened enough to block the current. Most important, he said, there have been no studies comparing electrified steel structures with identical structures without electricity.

“There’s not much evidence to say it’s worth putting the electricity through,” he said. “It’s probably not going to do any harm. It might do some good.”

The town agreed to pursue the idea after being approached by Dan Clark, an environmental activist with the group Cry of the Water; Marc Furth, an underwater photographer and former town commissioner; and Thomas Goreau, head of the Global Coral Reef Alliance.

Goreau, who has a doctorate from Harvard, said in an e-mail that it would be premature to comment until the project obtains necessary permits for construction. He expressed concern that any discussion could generate opposition. He said neither of the two scientists who questioned the technology had seen any of the group’s projects, making their comments “uninformed opinion.”

Many of the group’s reefs, known by the trade name Biorock, have thrived for years, surviving environmental stresses that kill other corals, says the group’s Web site. When ocean temperatures rose in the Maldives in 1998, killing 95 percent of the natural reef corals, 80 percent of the Biorock reefs survived, according to the Web site.

Vice Mayor Jerome McIntee, the electrified reef’s leading proponent, said the project was worth the $60,000 cost if it could restore the town’s reefs, famous among divers for being easily reached from the beach.

“We need to take the initiative and start the rebirth of a natural resource that has been long overlooked,” he said.

The town is seeking permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Once reef structures are installed, divers search the ocean floor for broken pieces of coral that is still living but likely to die, torn off by storms or boat groundings. They attach these corals to the electrified structure. Meanwhile, coral larvae settle on it and grow skeletons.

An electrified reef it would be the latest attempt to rely on technology to fix damage done to the region’s natural assets. The Everglades restoration relies on a highly engineered system of diesel-powered pumps, artificial reservoirs and computer-controlled water management. Engineers have attempted to control beach erosion by installing underground sand pipes, and most recently, proposing a 49-foot pit to accumulate sand next to Port Everglades.

Still, scientists don’t dismiss the possibility that electrified reefs work.

“I think the jury’s probably still out,” said Richard Dodge, of Nova’s coral reef institute. “Just because it isn’t well documented doesn’t mean it’s not happening.”

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In his 2006 publication “Coral Reef Restoration Handbook  …William F. Precht  wrote a section on “Electrified Artificial Reef Projects” on pg. 122.. It included some personal observations of the Biorock version… Pg. 123… (link below …as well as a link to the 2006 handbook on Amazon and the author)..

“Little is known about the submarine diagensis of Biorock, or its endolithic community or vulnerability to bioeruders, however a sliced Biorock sample with accretion of more than 4cm radius showed little or no boring at all (personal observation). Either it formed very rapidly and thus there had not been time for endoliths to accumulate, or Biorock is resistant to boring. On the one hand, the material may remain quite solid and durable unlike natural reef rock, which is usually highly tunneled and friable. Endoliths can play both positive and negative roles in reef development. The endolithic community contains both primary producers and pathogens as well as pore spaces that may be critical to nutrient cycling and submarine digenesis of reef rock. Nevertheless, in coral reef restoration as opposed to underwater architecture, the primary function of accreted mineral in Biorock is to attract coral recruits and serve as an anchoring point for explanted coral colonies. For the former, it may perform more poorly than a rougher, natural surface would. As a system for securing coral fragments however, electrochemical accretion is quite good.”

http://books.google.com/books?id=POaHRmQRNf0C&pg=PA122&lpg=PA122&dq=electrified+artificial+reef+projects&source=bl&ots=6fHEhoqKv5&sig=rFTwZFsuldMO9wVHZ0zs1NTMisk&hl=en&ei=0MWCTNnmN5KengfVjqhV&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CCkQ6AEwBDgU#v=onepage&q=electrified%20artificial%20reef%20projects&f=false

http://www.amazon.com/Coral-Restoration-Handbook-William-Precht/dp/0849320739

http://www.gulfbase.org/person/view.php?uid=precht

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“Electrolytic Mineral Accretion

This technique was first developed by W. Hilbertz in 1977 and has been extensively developed by him (1981, 1992, 1996), as well as by T. Goreau (1995, 1996), H. Schumacher (1997, 1999), P. van Treeck (1997), and others. It works like a galvanic cell, where electrochemical deposition of the abundant calcium and magnesium ions in seawater is accreted onto a substrate. A “DC” current between 1 and 24 volts [optimally around 9 volts (Schumacher, personal communication)] is applied to a metal mesh and calcium carbonate is deposited at the cathode with chlorine and oxygen evolving around the anode. Higher currents precipitate minerals faster, although brucite is favored over aragonite and the resultant material is more fragile (van Treeck 1997). Higher temperatures and water currents, not surprisingly to aquarists, increase accretion rates, with a lowered pH around the cathode being responsible for the increase. To date, this technology is being applied in reef transplantation efforts and in the formation of artificial reefs. Its use in aquaculture is only beginning. A French group has reported growth in Acropora of 50cm/year, although the skeletons are somewhat brittle (Goreau, personal communication)”

http://www.reefs.org/library/talklog/e_borneman_020600.html

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“[Coral-List] Some observations on Biorock as a means of coral reef restoration.
Les Kaufman lesk at bu.edu
Thu Mar 24 11:15:08 EST 2005

This is in response to queries about Biorock as a means of coral reef
restoration.

Here are a couple of papers on engineering aspects of Biorock, by
Wolf:

Hilbertz, W. 1992: Solar-generated building material from seawater as
a
sink for carbon. Ambio 21(2): 126-129

Hilbertz, W.H., D. Fletcher and C. Krausse. 1977. Mineral accretion
technology:
applications for architecture and aquaculture. Industrial Forum 8:
75-4.

As already mentioned, the Global Coral Reef Alliance web site hosts
..pdf files of some literature to support the presence of specific
biological effects
attributable to the electric current (such as changes in
zooxanthellae) or mineral accretion (which can stabilize coral
fragments, an important process in reducing transplant mortality), as
well as a
number of well-illustrated magazine articles about existing Biorock
installations.

Last August, in preparation to writing a book chapter on coral reef
restoration, I visited the Biorock installations at Permuteran, Seraya,
and Tulamben, along
the north coast of Bali, and spoke with some of the local supporters
and caretakers of these projects. I also examined the structures, their
corals, and the
adjacent reef, to try and at least superficially understand what was
going on.

Here are my observations in Bali, limited by time but greatly
facilitated by the gracious hospitality of the Balinese and expats
involved in these projects:

a) The Balinese Biorock projects are marvelously effective in
focusing a community’s environmental concern and stewardship on the
sea.

b) The more established structure gardens, at Permuteran and
Tulamben, are popular sites for diving and snorkeling in places that
have suffered degradation
and reduced area of natural reef. The removal of corals for the
structures did not seem likely to have had much impact on the natural
reef and many of the
source colonies were chosen because they were broken off or
threatened, but if corals where to be removed from natural reef in very
large numbers this
could obviously be a problem. It would be worth knowing, however, if
indeed coral colonies are less vulnerable to bleaching in their new
accommodations.

c) Mineral accretion on the iron structures is impressive over only a
few months, but the electric current must be maintained and closely
monitored, and that can be challenging where costs and
resources are limited.

d) Where I was shown coral colonies of known transplantation dates
and sizes, the colonies were very healthy and robust but did not appear
to have grown at an unusually high rate, except for
flanges on some corals projecting parallel to and within one or two
centimeters of but not touching the mineral-encrusted surfaces around
the charged reinforcing bars. Corals high in the water
column appeared to have done better and grown faster than similar
ones of the same species placed near or next to the sediment-water
interface. Systematic replicated measurements within and
among species are essential before conclusions can be drawn about
Biorock effects on coral growth rates.

The structures are strong and open, and resistant to at least those
storms of average intensity. I observed corals on the structures being
damaged by divers,
coral predators (Drupella, Acanthaster) and overgrowth by sessile
invertebrates, in a manner similar to those on nearby natural reef.
Constant vigilance,
similar to that required for tending any other kind of garden, was
necessary to prevent natural mortality to transplanted corals.

Some other groups have also been experimenting with this or very
similar methods:

Schumacher, H.P. and L. Shillak. 1994. Integrated electrochemical
and and biogenic deposition of hard material- a nature-like colonization
substrate. Bull.
Mar. Sci. 55:672-679.

Schumacher, H., P. van Treeck, M. Eisinger and M. Paster. 2000.
Transplantation of coral fragments from ship groundings on
electrochemically formed
reef structures. Proc. 9th Int. Cor. Reef Symp. 2:983-990.

In sum, the biorock methodology could be very useful in the creation
and maintenance of coral gardens for mass propagation (as part of
restoration programs) or recreational enjoyment. Biorock
structures, when composed principally of calcium carbonate (some
proportion of the accreted mineral can be brucite instead), are
wave-resistant (many fishes shelter in their lee) and it is hard to see
how they wouldn’t help to prevent beach erosion if properly placed
and maintained. In that application they may well be superior to the
dumping of riprap. As substratum for a coral explant
nursery, biorock is desirable because the entire structure is very
easily constructed, moved into place, and coated with mineral. As a
method for large-scale reef restoration, however, at least in the
Indo-Pacific, which is blessed with a great diversity of rapidly
growing corals (mostly acroporids), it needs to be demonstrated that
Biorock structures are more biologically or cost effective than
more conventional methods employing coral nursery-grown transplants,
or simply piles of carefully-placed boulders studied by Helen Fox in
Komodo. Biorock is certainly an aesthetically creative
approach, with results that can vary from hauntingly beautiful to
kitsch piles according to the sensibilities of both artist and viewer.

Les”

BC- the above can be found by Googling … “Kaufman electrical coral 2005″….

Dr. Les Kaufman …Boston University link below…

http://www.bu.edu/biology/people/faculty/kaufman/

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BC-This process has not only had some observers who have evaluated the process firsthand … producing both skeptics and supporters…it has also been developed and implemented by others as well as Goreau…(see names above) …since it first developed by W. Hilbertz in 1977…

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“Volunteers tie broken coral to a line for optimum growth in preparation to restore coral to reefs off of Key Largo.”

BC-The other method to epoxy in a nursery was previously posted  last month after it was in the papers and all over the cable news channels…It is successfully being used next door in Fort Lauderdale  under a federally funded grant…The question this writer still wants answered it this…Did Fort Lauderdale ever come to LBTS to see if we wanted to join them in this program?…

The epoxy method was also was covered by the Sentinel in October 2008 (days apart) along with the Biorock method…

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“Researchers work to revitalize Florida’s coral reefs

ORLANDO SENTINEL / By: Ludmilla Lelis / Sentinel Staff Writer / October 12, 2008

Scientists trying to save Florida’s diminishing coral reefs are using new approaches to help damaged reefs recover and survive a changing climate.

Damage from environmental problems, including climate change, is inevitable, they say, so they focus their work on what they can do. Through resiliency research, they hope to find the reasons some corals can overcome problems, and which are the more hearty corals that should be protected. Other scientists are preparing for the restoration of damaged reefs by growing the corals to replace them.

The two approaches could help in the battle to save corals that are being ravaged by pollution, ships, tropical storms and bleaching — a phenomenon that leaves corals colorless and lifeless.

Nurseries for recovery

Two South Florida projects are growing future reefs in nurseries in Biscayne National Park. Coral nurseries are growing pieces of coral, which would be transplanted to damaged or dying reefs elsewhere.

Growing coral had been a hobby for the aquarium trade, but it has become a crucial scientific project, said James Herlan, a graduate student at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. At the school’s nursery in the national park, he glues fragments of staghorn coral onto cement platforms with a nontoxic epoxy.

“Coral nurseries in the Caribbean are a newer idea, but there is now more of an urgency to do this,” Herlan said.

The underwater nursery has survived through trial and error. The corals are sprouting their distinctive hornlike shapes at a rate of 6 inches a year, just as fast as they would in the wild.

“It’s cheap, as ecological experiments go, so it’s very cost-effective,” Herlan said. “It’s very promising.”

Biscayne National Park also runs a coral nursery, under a dock at Adams Key, using slow-growing boulder coral. Richard Curry, the park’s ocean, reef and science manager, had rescued pieces from ship groundings and other accidents. He has made it a community project, using volunteers to epoxy the pieces to PVC pipes, laid in neat rows under the dock.

“It’s like watching paint dry,” Curry said of how slowly the corals grow. But he thinks it’s good insurance for the future.

“We’re not at the crisis yet where we need to have something like a ‘captive breeding’ program,” he said. “But we will someday, and hopefully we’ll be ready for that.”

Finding resilient strains

Other scientists have focused on making reefs more resilient.

Pollution and the summer doldrums — long stretches of tropical heat — can spark a massive bleaching. Coral, responding to the stress, expels the colorful algae that normally live inside it, leaving the coral a white, lifeless skeleton. But some coral colonies can survive and grow back more quickly than others.

Researchers want to know why some reefs rebound, hoping to use that knowledge to better protect the hardier patches of reef.

Florida already has a reef-resilience program that closely monitors reef zones when bleaching happens.

No South Florida zones are immune to bleaching, according to a recent study. However, some zones with the largest corals and the largest number of coral colonies need to have more restrictions that protect them from damage. For example, a reef-resilience conference in Key Largo earlier this year came up with 129 strategies that could help the reefs better survive, such as improving law-enforcement protection of sensitive areas, and keeping lobster and crab traps away from living reefs. State officials already plan to end one environmental problem. Outfalls, pouring treated sewage into the ocean, will be shut down by 2018.

However, the greatest test of resiliency is whether coral reefs can withstand rising sea temperatures.

University of Miami Assistant Professor Andrew Baker has found that some corals appear to be more heat tolerant than others. The advantage apparently depends on microscopic algae living inside the corals. Some algae are more heat-tolerant. The corals that persisted after bleaching tend to have more of those heat-resistant algae.

With a $150,000 Pew Fellowship, Baker will spend the next three years trying to find ways to boost that natural heat tolerance, including injecting those algae inside the coral’s limestone skeletons.

“We’re faced with an unfortunate inevitability that global warming is here to stay even if we can bring down our emissions, so we need to do everything we can to save as many corals as we have left,” he said.

Gradually, he will take his laboratory findings to larger reefs in South Florida and hopes to team up with coral nurseries to make sure that corals being grown will be better able to withstand global warming.

“This is not going to save the world’s coral, but we may be able to find techniques that we can offer in a package of solutions for reef managers,” Baker said.

“A failure to act guarantees the corals will be lost.”
…………..

Excerpts from the August 13, 2010 Palm Beach Post…Full text link below…

“Economic stimulus money from the Obama administration has financed an expansion of the $3.4 million project, which is expected to create 57 full-time jobs, according to Tom Moore of the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration’s Habitat Restoration Center in St. Petersburg.

Healthy reefs, in turn, create jobs in tourism, increase habitat for fisheries, and provide hurricane protection, Moore said.

Today there is a row of 10 coral nurseries that stretch from Fort Lauderdale to the U.S. Virgin Islands, growing new stands of staghorn and elkhorn coral.

“These are two of the most important species of coral,” said James Byrne, marine science program manager for The Nature Conservancy, an environmental group that applied for the federal money and is coordinating the work. “The staghorn coral provides very important habitat for juvenile fish, and elkhorn coral is one of the most important reef builders.”

“The nursery off Fort Lauderdale consists of two sites, just south and north of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, where scientists from Nova are growing staghorn coral. The coral on one site started three years ago have grown large and are ready to be moved onto reefs, said David Gilliam, assistant professor at the university’s Oceanographic Center.”

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/offshore-nurseries-cultivate-rare-corals-to-rescue-depleted-856695.html

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BC- In conclusion… if we come to new terms with the Biorock group this month ….will it work here in S. Florida?… And, if we cannot get everything sorted out once and for all is there any chance we can join Fort Lauderdale’s program?…. Whichever process we end up with let’s just hope some process is up and running before we see another year pass us by….

more to come…

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