Mar 17, 2016

The Quest to Save Coral Reefs

Persian Gulf - Ras Al-Khaimah - United Arab Emirates
by
Meehan Crist
,
The Atlantic
Staghorn coral with an extensive bleached area at its center. Photo: Fred Bavendam, Minden Pictures / Corbis
Staghorn coral with an extensive bleached area at its center. Photo: Fred Bavendam, Minden Pictures / Corbis

3D-printed reefs, a new addition to the growing assortment of artificial reefs being dropped into ailing oceans worldwide, are designed with these polyps in mind, their nubbly surfaces grooved and inviting, intended to offer safety and succor. The world’s first 3D printed reef was sunk in the Persian Gulf in 2012. Made of pale sandstone with nubbly branches designed to look like actual coral, it was just one artificial unit among 2,620 (the others made of molded concrete) dropped off the coast of Bahrain in a massive effort to replenish dwindling fish stocks