Banyan Tree Vabinfaru takes a completely different approach to using electronic media to help preserve the environment. Their Lotus Project is pioneering the use of ‘Mineral Accretion’ technology which use low voltage electric currents to stimulate coral growth (thanks John). Sort of an electromyostimulation for reef fitness…
“In November 2001, the Vabbinfaru Lotus was successfully launched. This unique reef restoration project was developed under the supervision of architect Prof. Wolf Hilbertz, coral scientist Dr. Tom Goreau and Abdul Azeez Abdul Hakeem, the marine environmental consultant to Banyan Tree Maldives. The metal structure is two meters high, 12 meters in diameter and shaped in the form of a giant lotus flower…A method invented by Prof. Hilbertz and Dr. Goreau called ‘Mineral Accretion’ now enables us to restore marine habitats by using completely safe low voltage electrical currents to grow solid limestone structures in the sea and making additional energy available for the corals. The energy accelerates the growth and reproduction of corals; it increases their ability to resist environmental stresses and makes them healthier and visibly brighter in color…The Vabbinfaru Lotus is not only a visually appealing object but also combines aesthetics with purpose. It acts as a coral nursery, a ‘Coral Ark’, that maintains a fascinating diversity of species. With its open flower shape the surface area is maximized, inviting the sun to promote the development and growth of the corals. Half a ton of welded construction reinforcing bar was used to build the frame, which was then carried by around 40 volunteers through the shallow lagoon and deposited on the slope of Vabbinfaru’s outer reef. The Lotus is now located at a depth of three to ten meters…It uses around 600 watts of power, which is only a little more than each of the lights on the jetty attracting fish at night.”
Power to the coral!
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