Coral reefs are known as the "rainforests of the sea", and are estimated to be the most biodiverse ecosystem on the planet - even more than tropical rainforests (Coral Reef Alliance). Recent evaluations of the number of species living on reefs worldwide could be as high as 1 million unique species (Fisher et al. 2015), and it is estimated that they indirectly support about 25% of all life in the oceans.
Restoration projects globally often target a particular species or small group of species that they wish to enhance or protect. While commercially important species should be a priority to support local fisheries and tourism, using artificial reefs or man-made habitats as a means to accomplish this goal alone may be short-sighted.
By using smart substrates that automatically protect and even enhance biodiversity on a site, a restoration habitat for one species can also serve as a "bio-bank" for hundreds more.
IntelliReefs creates custom marine habitats using the proprietary nanotechnology, Oceanite. We design species-, function-, and site-specific mineral mixtures to mimic the complexity and diversity of compounds found in natural ecosystems and address target conservation goals. The complex system of pores produced by our mixtures optimizes animal settlement, creating more surface area per square inch. This enhances biodiversity and protects early growth stages of marine species. Together, these two features make Oceanite the ideal substrate for capturing and growing wild coral spawn and farming coral fragments and transplanted colonies.
The Power of Small: How Local Biodiversity Revitalizes Reefs
The physical structure of Oceanite is nanoengineered to optimize settling surface for marine organisms. The porosity created by the mix design of Oceanite mineral growth matrices provides more surface area per cubic inch for animals to live in the crevices, creating a living substrate that is unparalleled in marine construction materials. Recently, researchers found that IntelliReefs in Sint Maarten can support more than 100% coverage of marine plants and animals on the outer and inner surfaces of the structures. Our mixtures and designs are also engineered to optimize strength and durability and can withstand marine storms and conditions for hundreds of years.