Written by BigAnimals Staff

Reefs have had it tough in recent times. Pollution, overfishing, and global warming have all taken their toll, as msnbc.com’s Future of Technology reported recently. Higher water temperatures, for example, can result in something called coral bleaching. Warmer water causes some of the algae that sustains a reef to leave. An sustained event like this in 1998 killed one sixth of the world’s tropical reefs.

But there’s new hope for the world’s reefs, and the process might shock you. Actually, it will send an electric current through the waters where reefs need help A technology called the Biorock Process runs low-voltage electric currents through seawater. This causes dissolved minerals in the water to crystallize metal frames place near reefs, growing a white limestone similar to that which makes up a coral reef. According to the Global Coral Reef Alliance, the artificial reef grows quickly. A Biorock project needs electricity, of course, and that can come from solar panels or tidal current generators.

If you want to support this work you can sponsor a baby reef through the Biorock group. There are other ways you can help, too, because reefs are negatively affected by pollution from runoff. The Nature Conservancy provides some suggestions, like supporting reef-friendly businesses and practicing safe and responsible diving and snorkeling. (You know that touching a reef is bad, right? And you should never anchor your boat near it.) More tips from the Nature Conservancy at this link.

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Image courtesy of Rani Morrow-Wuigk and Global Coral Reef Alliance.

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