[Coral-List] Reef restoration?

Todd Barber reefball at reefball.com
Tue Nov 7 10:58:54 EST 2006

Hi Ade,

Very good points indeed.  First, I would like to point out that Reef Balls 
can really only be used for Coral rehabilitation, not restoration...even 
with the planting of propagated corals.  Coral reefs cannot be restored, per 
se....they are complex living ever changing ecosystems.

What I can say is that rehabilitation efforts often have a much bigger 
impact than their footprints.  People that participate in such projects 
become stewards of reefs often devoting much more time and energy into 
protecting natural reefs from threats.

Developers, that have to spend money on mitigating damage they do start 
trying to find ways to minimize reef damage to minimize the costs.

Using "designed" reefs or targeted propagation or planting strategies, very 
specific local issues can be addressed...be that as generic as tourisum 
enhancement or as specific as cloning and replanting specific stress 
resistant corals.

More importantly, designed reefs can directly create protective void spaces 
(which is one of the main ecological contributions of corals to mobile 
marine species)....which is becoming more and more critical as coral reefs 
are experiancing declining protective void space offerings while human 
pressures increase on fishery resources.

And as far as developing places, one of the best things about simplified and 
process controlled approaches like the Reef Ball Coral Team approach is that 
it can be shared around the world, scaled to any budget, and yet deliver 
consistant positive results.  And our non-profit foundation approach even 
gets funding to those who cannot afford even the smallest of projects.

Will rehabilitation ever take the place of conservation or mandated 
protection? NO.  Will rehabilitation eliminate the need to work on the 
global issues affecting corals. NO.  Is rehabilitation a cure for what ails 
reefs? NO.  Does rehabilitation efforts have a place in the toolbox of those 
that care about reefs? YES.


Todd R. Barber
Chairman, Reef Ball Foundation

3305 Edwards Court,
Greenville, NC 27858
941-720-7549 Cell
252-353-9094 Direct
Skype Toddbarber or Skype In (252) 557-1047, United States (+1)
MSN messenger reefball at hotmail.com
reefball at reefball.com (email address)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ade Lambo" <adelambo at blueyonder.co.uk>
To: <Coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 9:09 AM
Subject: [Coral-List] Reef restoration?

> Coral listers,
> My point is not directly related to bleaching, SSTs or the wider debate on 
> climate change. I am particularly interested in the work that the some 
> organisations are undertaking with reef restoration projects. My point is 
> that given the widespread coral mortality exhibited within reefs 
> worldwide, attributed to numerous impacts, can such relatively small-scale 
> projects be effective tools in reef restoration. My scepticism is based on 
> a few points:
> 1) The costs (raw materials, manpower, diver costs, electicity etc..) 
> dramatically reduces the applicability of such projects on degraded reefs 
> often located within developing nations.
> 2) The time-consuming nature of the project (diving, building the 
> structures etc..) again dramatically limits the scope of such projects. 
> Only very small patches of reef can be 'restored'
> 3) There is a danger that 'reef restoration' may become a useful tool for 
> developers and polluters who will point to 'successfull' restoration 
> projects as a reason to favour transplantation/restoration rather than 
> implementing best practice and environmentally sensitive procedures. It is 
> often easier to allocate a pot of money to restore/transplant a reef 
> elsewhere rather than addressing the real issue of sustainable 
> development.
> In most developing nations such methods would simply not work as effective 
> restoration/recovery efforts due to the costs, logisitcs and most 
> importantly the scale of coral mortality. I do feel that such methods 
> (ReefBall, Birock etc..) do have a very important place in coral 
> conservation. Their application in enhancing localised patches of reef 
> growth, often close to land, can provide very effective areas for tourist, 
> educational purposes. The creation of snorkelling trails and similar 
> projects may be effective in alleviating impacts and stress on more 
> established tourist sites and can be effective tools in educating people 
> in reef ecology. I think that it would be harsh to lable such efforts as 
> gimmicks but i feel that this may be the only effective use of such 
> methods in wider reef restoration efforts.
> I have enjoyed the recent postings and debate on the forum and eagely 
> await reply/comments.
> Regards
> Ade Lambo
> PhD candidate
> Unviversity of London
> University Marine Biological Station, Millport.
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> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
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