In November of 2018, IntelliReefs deployed its first prototypes in three different sites off Cole Bay, Sint Maarten. Reef Life Foundation, along with scientists, filmmakers, photographers, ocean artists, and leaders from the eco-tourism industry assisted the Nature Foundation St. Maarten with its mission to restore the island’s coral reefs.
For the next 14 months, we documented and analyzed the success of the IntelliReefs structures in fostering biodiversity and functioning as a substrate for coral recruits. Oceanite substrates provide an incredible amount of surface area for a diversity of life to settle, and we found that all deployed IntelliReefs modules supported an increased cover of calcareous species such as crustose coralline algae (CCA) and brooding corals. One of the most important findings was that the IntelliReefs deployed in the Sint Maarten MPA supported almost 100% cover of plant and animal species on all substrates, which was significantly higher than the nearby natural reef.
Moving forward, we will incorporate research on both the material science and additional biological benefits of Oceanite as we explore how our technology can help combat coral disease.
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.