There are growing concerns climate change will put Australia’s famous Great Barrier Reef on the danger list of World Heritage Sites.
Globally, nearly half of all coral on the reef has died off.
One Hong Kong startup is trying to help coral adapt to the problems humans have caused, with 3D printing and terracotta.
David Baker is a coral ccologist at the University of Hong Kong.
“Those who are still with us from the World War II generation, these people will tell you the water was crystal clear, that there were coral everywhere,” said Baker.
As Hong Kong industrialized, run-off and pollution bled into the waters.
Baker then co-founded Archireef, an eco-engineering startup rebuild.
His team 3D printed artificial reef tiles made from terracotta, which are non-toxic and biodegradable and placed those on the sandy bottom of a protected bay and seeded them with living coral.
Approximately 95% of the reef tiles survived in the past two years.
Reefs protect homes and businesses, breaking up destructive waves from storms. Scientists say one of the biggest red flags they’ve seen is the prediction between 70-90% of the coral will disappear in the next 20 years.
Thankfully, Archireef is hoping to help, one tile at a time.