About a 100 meters off the beach, beneath the clear water tied atop 5 big steel structure in the shape of domes, coral is slowly coming back to life and tropical fish gently swim between the open mesh safe from local fisherman.
Their frames tingle with electrical currents, which helps them create a solid limestone coating – which in turn becomes a nursery for coral reefs that have been damaged by human activity. There are now 10 of these domes within the cove in two distinct areas that require attention, each costing around $2,000US including solar panels.
Here, we have a protected zone where local Tugawe resort owner is serious at bringing the corals back to life both for tourism and to bring the fish back to the area.
Caramoan Coral Reef Project was started by Bryan Martin who is working as Project Manager for Caramoan with the Coral Triangle Conservancy, an NGO in the Philippines
Using a technology called Biorock, reefs can be restored 4-6 times faster. Biorock reefs are also 50 times more resistant to disease and other environmental causes of degradation, and are the most cost effective method of growing new coral reefs.
Corals can grow 4-7 times faster on Biorock powered reefs, and are more resistant to disease and adverse environmental factors that would cause other corals to die.
What is Biorock Technology?
Biorock uses the process of electrolysis on a submerged steel structure to create a limestone shell around the metal. The limestone material that covers the structure is 3 times stronger than cement, and is made of the same minerals as a coral skeleton. This provides an ideal substrate for corals to attach to and grow on, but it is the electric field produced by the low voltage current that increases the rate of coral growth.
Power for the Biorock reefs comes from solar panels and a battery floating on the surface. The size of the area that can be rehabilitated is only limited by the amount of power that can be produced at the surface and brought down to the submerged steel structures.
Bryan and Jacinda Martin have been in the Philippines for 12 years. They have been working in small communities teaching on social issues to help improve the quality of life of those living in isolated and impoverished areas. They are fluent in Tagalog (the national language of the Philippines) and have experience working with local governments and within the local culture to start grass roots level initiatives
They are both passionate about seeing people lifted out of poverty through the responsible management of environmental resources.