Hong Kong’s startup is helping coral to adapt to changing environments.humans have caused — with its innovative use of 3D printing and terracotta.
A portion of Hong Kong’s subtropical water is home to more coral species than the Caribbean. But, the South China Sea used be a place of natural beauty with even greater natural beauty.
David Baker, a coral expert at the University of Hong Kong told CBS News that “we believe this area was a paradise for corals.” “Those who have been with us since the World War II generation tell you that the water was clear and there was coral everywhere.”
However, pollution and runoff grew as Hong Kong became more industrialized.
Baker founded Archireef, an Eco-Engineering Startup, to rebuild “paradise Lost.”
His team 3D-printed artificial reef tiles out of terracotta. This is a first in the world. They are non-toxic and biodegradable. The team laid the tiles in a sandy bay, seeded them with coral and 95% survived for the past two year.
Baker was asked how he came up the idea. He said that he just thought of it one night and decided to tile the seafloor like a bathroom or kitchen floor.
The tiles could be used to help coral adapt, and this would benefit both humanity and ocean life. Coral reefs are a protection for homes and businesses by absorbing the destructive effects of storms. Coral plays an integral role in tourism, medicine, and fisheries.
Scientists expect coral to be 70% to 90% in the future.In the next twenty years.
Archireef now has an office in Abu Dhabi and a 3D printer for industrial applications.
Vriko Yu, Archireef’s other co-founder, stated, “We have our eco-engineering facilities.”
Yu recently moved from Hong Kong, and wants to assist coral in their move. The Persian Gulf’s waters can rise to 118 degrees — higher temperatures can kill.
Yu stated that “We can aid migration to help these corals migrate in deeper water,”
Also, reef tiles can be used to connect isolated coral communities that are being destroyed by climate change.