• IntelliReefs NanoTech Team

Early November 2021: IntelliReefs CAN Ready to Launch Canadian Kelp Restoration

Updated: 2 days ago

IntelliReefs CAN's first Canadian kelp restoration project has arrived at the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. HALIFAX, NS — Published October 28, 2021 This week, IntelliReefs CAN's first shipment of ReefShip restoration modules made from Oceanite nanotechnology arrived at the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. This will be the flagship cold water, or "temperate ecosystem" project for IntelliReefs. The aim of this large scale artificial reef deployment in Dartmouth Cove is to ascertain the efficacy and impact of Oceanite for kelp forest, oyster bed, and near-shore fisheries restoration. This project follows the recent announcement of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for sustainable development's endorsement of IntelliReefs' Decade Action in a letter from the Executive Secretary of IOC-UNESCO. IntelliReefs is on the ground in Nova Scotia collaborating with researchers to deploy and monitor a series of small to large-scale experiments to test the benefits of Oceanite to temperate water kelp forest ecosystems. Dalhousie researchers are examining whether Oceanite is a suitable substrate for kelp seeding.

Kelp are one of the most productive and biomass-dense ecosystems on the planet, with an estimated global economic value of $684 billion USD per year. Their ability to capture and sequester carbon from the atmosphere makes them a valuable resource in the fight against climate change. ​ The potential of using kelp for rapid and strategic for carbon capture in a changing climate has received a lot of validation from policy makers and academics around the world. Supported by an early investment from Innovacorp and the Ocean Startup Challenge Award (Growth Stream), IntelliReefs will be working with researchers from Dalhousie University to monitor and measure the growth of kelp and other algae on the temperate ReefShip modules deployed at COVE. The team plans to submerge their novel technology during the third week of November, along with local partner Dominion Diving.

IntelliReefs' ReefShip design mimics the architecture, geology, and chemistry of natural tropical and temperate reefs. ReefShip quickly builds 3D complexity and structure where it has been lost due to climate change, coastal development, and pollution in order to feed and shelter fish and invertebrates, and provide biomimicking substrates that attract and sustain kelp and shellfish species. ​ ReefShip visually integrates itself within the local ecosystem while creating a platform for collaboration with local conservation organizations and academic researchers by providing a platform for experimentation and restoration. The modular nature of the design enables deeply unique approaches to serving objectives. This allows for the freedom to make targeted and local solutions, housings for specific scientific equipment, and integrations with tourism and coral out-planting goals. ​

Kelp forests are one of the most productive and biomass-dense ecosystems on the planet and provide food, nutrients, and habitat for commercially important fish and invertebrate animals. Kelp are brown algae that grow in cold, shallow, nutrient-rich waters, and can be f