How can we save our dying coral reefs? – September 6, 2012 BBC Future article.

Dr Tom Goreau’s response to the author:

Dear Gaia,

Nice to see that you feature one of our old Biorock coral reef restorations in the Maldives work in your BBC piece today!

But it is very disappointing that you never mention our technology by name, that some of the “information” you give is not correct, and that you did not provide our web site so people could learn more. You could easily have got this straight if you had checked the facts with me for accuracy, as the only surviving inventor of this coral reef restoration technology. Next month I am installing the first wave-energy powered project, which now allows us to build huge structures anywhere, powered from local untapped clean energy.

Wolf and I did projects like this in more than 20 countries, but despite having 16-20 times higher survival of corals on Biorock than surrounding reefs in the 1998 Maldives Bleaching Event, the hotels there have shut the power off for more than 10 years. That means all the corals on them will die just like the surrounding reefs the next time the water gets very hot (I invented the HotSpot method for accurately predicting coral bleaching from satellite sea surface temperatures alone in 1989) because the benefits are due to the electrical field itself and are not residual.

Our Biorock method is the only method that greatly increases the settlement, growth rates, survival, and resistance to environmental stresses like high temperatures that is known. That is because it uniquely creates the natural biophysical conditions that all corals and marine organisms use to synthesize their biochemical energy. Much more on this is in Innovative Methods of Marine Ecosystem Restoration, the 20 chapter book I edited that shows for the first time our 25 years of data and results, which will be published this year by one of the world’s largest scientific publishers.

This is of course the same technology about which you recently published an interview by Peter Sale falsely describing our work as a “snake oil fraud” and refused to correct.

I’m glad that you have finally decided to see for yourself and not base your opinion on lies. But what you have seen is a very poor example because it has not been working at all for more than 10 years, and you really need to see the real thing!

You can see photos of one of our properly maintained projects in an area of the Coral Triangle that was practically barren of corals and fish when we began at the links below:

The United Nations Development Program Special Award for Marine and Coastal Zone Management, and the UNDP Equator Award for Community Based Development were awarded to the Biorock coral reef and fisheries restoration projects at Pemuteran Bali, during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 20 2012. These projects are run by the Yayasan Karang Lestari (Protected Coral Foundation in Indonesian), the local partner to the Global Coral Reef Alliance, developers of the technology.

New photographs of these stunning projects, in areas that were formerly nearly barren, can be seen here and in the Equator Award Presentation

The Global Coral Reef Alliance is ready to partner with all serious local groups that want to keep their reefs alive where they would die and grow new reefs back in a few years in places where there has been little or no natural recovery. Our Biorock Technology is the only method of coral reef restoration known that greatly accelerates the settlement, growth, survival, healing, and resistance to environmental stress of corals and all marine organisms.

Best wishes,

Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
President, Global Coral Reef Alliance
President, Biorock International Corp.
Honorary Research Fellow, Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory, Centre for Marine Sciences, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica
Coordinator, United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development Small Island Developing States Partnership in New Sustainable Technologies
37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139

Skype: tomgoreau
No one can change the past, every one can change the future