February 28, 2008

Vivid Pictures of Reefs

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Water Painting...

What would I do if released from the constraints of the architectural school?

I don’t know what I would do to be quite honest. Sometimes we get so cought up in a system or schedule that it seems to consume us. Before I got to doing anything important I would look up the soonest plain to Colorado or Montana grab my board and hit the slopes. Take a week off after the rigorous exams, paper deadlines and the many tasks that seem to compound our daily lives. Ya boarding is defiantly first on my mind!

But after a relaxing vacation I think it would be interesting to hit up the coast and do some marine biology activities. Educating the public about the ocean and the creatures that inhabit it. A cool project to get involved in would be creating artificial reefs to help replace those that are damaged or even destroyed. Somewhere like Australia’s Great Beerier Reef would be a neat place to get involved.

The process is really quite simple to do. Take damaged coral, attach it to a concrete structure raise it in a “farm? and transplant the whole thing in the ocean. All that’s left is to sit back and watch it grow, that and deal with the financing and government regulations that seem to get in the way of every architects project. The designing of the reef is an art form because of the many types of coral and the shapes that can influence the type of creatures that will inhabit the formation. (Source: a Florida company that is involved in the reconstruction of the segments damaged in the Florida Keys.)

One way of creating the foundation is demonstrated in Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe.; getting in a preformed enclosure and mixing a series of concrete, sand, cinder blocks, shells and repeating several times. The sand washes away leaving a concrete layer cake that the animals can shelter in a giving the coral space to thrive.

Another way that while aiding the environment is also environmentally clean. They start by construction a steel structure and submerge it. Then next step is to attach a cable that will provide an electrical current. A current is provided by the raft that floats above equipped with solar panels to harness the suns rays. The current coats the steel structure with bio-rock, type of limestone, that as they say at the coral can’t resist latching on to.

I think getting involved with the ocean would be fun since I’ve always loved the water. Being able to design something and chose how you want to leave your mark on the world would be an exciting experience, and a positive one too. Combining different features to influence the type of coral and using that as an instrument to paint your canvas, then sitting back and watch it grow would give a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.