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The first coral reef fisheries habitat and restoration project in America - using a novel technolology called Biorock to speed up coral growth and survivial and create shelter for fish populations - has just been installed in exclusively in Lauderdale by the Sea!  This will create a  new attraction for divers and snorkelers in the town renowned as the 'Shore Dive Capital of Florida'.
This pilot project, which will make the town the leader in coral reef restoration in Florida, has taken several years to get all the permits and approvals needed from a host of county, state and federal agencies.  It will be located south of the fishing pier and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea snorkel trail.
What will be visible from the shore will be two buoys covered with solar panels which will use sunlight to provide a completely safe low voltage trickle charge to six tunnel like open mesh steel structures on the sea floor below.  The trickle charge will completely prevent any rusting of the steel and cause the slow growth of solid limestone rock over the structures.  limestone is the natural mineral that makes up coral skeletons, reefs, tropical white sand beaches and most of Florida.  Limestone is naturally dissolved in the ocean but does not spontaneously grow out of the water.  The electrical charge causes it to grow over charged metal surfaces similar to the way that corals use energy to make their skeletons from naturally dissolved chemicals in the sea.
The ingenious Biorock process mimics the natural growth of coral reefs and was invented by a pioneering architect, the late Professor Wolf Hilbertz in the 1970's, as a way of growing natural building materials in the sea.  Limestone has been used for construction since the pyramids of ancient Egypt.  In the 1980's Hilbertz
                           began working with Dr. Thomas Goreau, a coral reef specialist, to
                           use the process to restore coral reefs.  They and their students
                           have built hundreds of Biorock coral reef and oyster reef
                           restoration projects in more than 20 countries.  They found that
                           corals on these structures grow typically two to six times faster
                           than normal and have sixteen to fifty times higher survival
                           following severe high temperature episodes, events that have
                           become more frequent in the last 20 years as the global warming
                           impacts of rising atmospheric CO2 begin to be felt. 
Furthermore, they find that large schools of fish, especially juveniles, are attracted to them.  As a result, Biorock reefs have kept corals alive in places where they would have died and allowed new reefs to be grown back in a few years in damaged areas where no natural recovery have taken place. 
Only a handful of the oldest divers now remember the wonderful coral reef that used to stretch along Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach counties, where they would swim among forests of corals grabbing lobsters and conch and spearing big fish.  Those habitats have alsmost entirely vanished.  That is why this approach is so badly needed in Southeast Florida.
                             It has been seven years since I made the first presentation for
                             this reef restoration project before the LBTS Commission.  I
                             introduced Dr. Thomas Goreau from Coral Reef Alliance.  At that
                             time, Dr. Goreau presented an impressive slide show that
                             captivated the audience.  It was so impressive that the
                             Commission unanimously decided that this would be a viable
                             project for our threatened reefs.  One year later, Global Coral
                             Reef Alliance was awarded a contract to proeceed with the
                             project the first of its kind in America.    It has been my
                             pleasure to have contributed to the project through my years as the liasion between Dr. Goreau and the town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Commission.  I pledge my continuing support for this unique and important environmental restoration project.
 Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Biorock Project 
First in the Nation!
Installation begins
Day one 9-11-2011
Dr. Goreau 
Fmr. Commissioner Marc Furth
Installation Day 2 
Installation Day 3
Installation Day 4
Vone Reserch. org
Partners with LBTS
Bio Rock Project for
maintenance and
All photography
copyright Marc Furth
All rights reserved
Check back often for   new photo albums
as the Bio Rock project progresses.
Global Coral Reef Alliance
Dedicated to the growth
and management of coral
Reefs around the world.