October 2021:
IntelliReefs CAN Ready to Launch Canadian Kelp Restoration

IntelliReefs CAN's first Canadian kelp restoration project has arrived at the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.


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 at Dalhousie University to deploy and monitor a series of small to large-scale experiments to test the benefits of Oceanite to temperate water kelp forest ecosystems.

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.

Temperate Oceanite - PC Stirling Brenna.png

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 found on every continent worldwide. Their root system, called a “holdfast”, fastens itself to hard underwater substrates - like boulders and bedrock. Just like trees on land, they use carbon dioxide and light to photosynthesize, creating one of the largest carbon sequestering biomes on Earth.


When kelp break from their holdfasts due to age or weather, they transport the carbon in their tissues to the deep ocean. This not only provides deep sea animals with a food source, but also commits carbon into long-term storage in sediment. Some species of kelp can grow up to 65m long, and research has shown that kelp forests along the southern coast of Australia sequester over 1.3–2.8 teragrams of carbon per year. This region alone contributes ~3% of the total global carbon sequestration.


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 from Dalhousie University have documented an 85-99% decline in kelp biomass over the past 4-6 decades along the eastern shore of Nova Scotia.

The ocean is vital. 

It’s actually been BUFFERING climate change for us, 

and that’s a TREMENDOUS service.”


— Dr. Julie Pullen


Blue carbon and innovations that seek to harness its power have the potential to mitigate rising CO2 emissions and their disastrous consequences. IntelliReefs CAN's mission is to turn grey infrastructure "blue", creating a conservation opportunity within what has traditionally been a highly unsustainable industry. The cement industry has a massive carbon footprint and is the third highest carbon dioxide (CO2) contributor in the world, annually contributing about 8% of global emissions. IntelliReefs' manufacturing constitutes about half of the emissions of concrete and is engineered to enhance the growth of kelp for decades, capturing carbon from the atmosphere annually.

Keep an Eye Out for IntelliReefs at COP26!


We are thrilled to announce that we have been nominated for an Energy Globe Award for sustainability for our ongoing coral restoration work in Sint Maarten with the local Nature Foundation!

We are so honoured to have been nominated for the "Water" category by an International jury spanning all 5 continents, chaired by Maneka Gandhi, from a total of around 3000 submissions from more than 180 countries.

On November 8, in the frame of the COP26 - UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, all nominees and the winners will be presented in a documentation by streaming, which is distributed worldwide. Stay tuned for more details on our nomination. For more information on past Energy Globe Award winners, click here.

Vote for IntelliReefs and Reef Life Foundation Today!

IntelliReefs' close partner, Reef Life Foundation, was recently nominated for the "Ocean Tribute" Award by boot Düsseldorf and their partners the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco and German Ocean Foundation.


The winner of the award will be decided by a jury and the general public. Visit the public voting platform now to cast your vote for OPTION #5 Reef Life Foundation and IntelliReefs: Building Homes for the Ocean's Homeless!


Looking to get involved with IntelliReefs' work in Nova Scotia? 

Contact us today and visit Reef Life Foundation's GlobalGiving fundraiser to donate to this ongoing research and innovation project today by purchasing a kelp restoration garden for yourself, a loved one, or your company.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:


Follow IntelliReefs online:

Instagram: @intellireefs

Facebook: @IntelliReefs.Sustainable.Marine.Solutions


Additional Links for Media:

Video: “Invest in the Oceans with IntelliReefs

The Biological Benefits of IntelliReefs

Video: “Why Corals Love IntelliReefs

Video: “Restoring Reef Biodiversity: Sint Maarten

High resolution photos are available upon request.


About IntelliReefs:

IntelliReefs are innovative reef restoration systems; the result of breakthroughs in science and nanotechnology, these engineered structures mimic established coral reefs to build an oceanic infrastructure that improves resistance to climate stressors and diseases.


IntelliReefs is a division of Reef Life Restoration, LLC with 20 years of earned experience in advanced materials, manufacturing methods and delivering custom projects, using scientific research, and architectural innovation to offer high performance marine restoration systems designed from nano to industrial scale.

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