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  • Sophie Morton

Kelp Research Module Deployment

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

IntelliReefs CAN's first Canadian kelp restoration project deploying off of the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Photo Credits: John Borbely and Cam Howlett


Published by Sophie Morton on December 30, 2021

After months of preparation, IntelliReefs successfully deployed the first ReefShip modules in Dartmouth Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada. In total, we deployed 16 ReefShip Modules. The aim of this large scale artificial reef deployment is to ascertain the efficacy and impact of Oceanite for attracting and growing a healthy kelp community.

Around the world, massive kelp beds are rapidly declining due to coastal development and erosion, warming waters, invasive species, poor water quality, pollution, and overfishing. As a consequence of losing these lush underwater forests, fisheries and ocean-based economies around the world are in serious jeopardy. As with many other regions in the world, Nova Scotia’s prolific kelp beds are steadily declining. Researchers have documented an 85-99% decline in kelp biomass over the past 4-6 decades along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia.

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.

Partnering with Dominion Diving


For this deployment, IntelliReefs had the pleasure of partnering with a local company, Dominion Diving. Dominion Diving is Canada’s superior marine service force based in Nova Scotia. Founded in 1969, the company has earned a solid reputation for pushing the limits and extremes of marine innovation throughout its history.

Cam Howlett, Dominion Diving, peeking under ReefShip module

Dominion Diving’s Cam Howlett worked alongside our team during the entire deployment. “IntelliReefs is such an extensive organization,” says Cam. “It’s not just ‘We’re building reefs and that’s it.’ IntelliReefs seems to be a wider scope, which means doing something that’s going to rebuild the ocean and rebuild habitat. It’s not limited by a shape or material. It’s about finding what works in this area, versus another area. That’s really exciting.”

IntelliReefs will continue to work with researchers in Nova Scotia, Canada, to monitor and measure the growth of kelp and other algae following the introduction of our modules to test the benefits of Oceanite to temperate water kelp forest ecosystems.

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