OUR TEAM SPENDS AROUND 2,000 HOURS A YEAR
BATTLING BIOFOUL IN OUR CORAL NURSERIES.
IMAGINE WHAT ELSE WE COULD ACCOMPLISH WITH THIS TIME!
Now, we are challenging students across the USA to design a way to help us reduce the amount of time we spend cleaning our Coral Trees so that we can restore the reef FASTER.
We have over 750 Coral Trees in our ocean-based Coral Tree Nurseries. These Coral Trees help us raise more than 45,000 reef-ready corals every year.
But, in the open ocean, these Coral Trees are also a great habitat for other types of marine life including algae, barnacles, and hydroids. These other organisms weigh the trees down, compete with our corals for space and nutrients, and create less-than-ideal conditions for our corals to thrive.
This accumulation of organisms is called” biofouling”. Biofouling is such bad news for our corals that our teams go out every day to clean the Coral Trees. Each tree takes between 45 minutes to an hour to clean.
This means that our team spends almost 2,000 hours every year battling biofouling in our Tavernier Nursery alone.
If we could reduce the time it takes to clean our Coral Trees, we could return more corals to the reef every year!
By taking part in this challenge, you could be helping to help us restore these reefs so much faster!
The solution to battling biofouling must:
Significantly reduce the time spent cleaning trees
Be eco-friendly with no negative impact on our corals or the surrounding environment
Be able to be implemented on a large scale
Be easily accomplished by divers of all levels if the solution involves manual cleaning of some kind
Be cost-effective, using cheap and easy to find materials
Be long-lasting and durable
Be able to be used on new trees (land-based) and/or old trees (water-based)
Not impact the structural integrity of the Coral Tree itself – the Coral Tree still needs to be able to support at least 50 lbs/23 kgs of coral
Make no changes to the current Coral Tree design that would impact its ability to provide benefits of 360 degrees water flow, low sedimentation, the ability to move up and down in water column, etc.
The winning solution to the The National Battling Biofoul Student Challenge will be put to the test by the CRF™ team in the Tavernier Coral Tree nursery - the biggest coral nursery in the world!
The winning class will be awarded a state-of-the-art, educational aquarium, donated to their school by Titan Aquatic Exhibits in association with Titan Composites, Reef Brite, Neptune Systems, and ESHOPPS, and stocked with fish supplied by Segrest.
The Think Tank has been custom designed and built by the aquarium experts at Titan Aquatics. It is composed of a large, 200+ gallon acrylic aquarium on a fiberglass stand.
The life support system will include a reef sump that can be seen through the stand with bio media, a heater, a protein skimmer, a return pump, and a Neptune Apex Control System.
The challenge is presented to students through a series of comprehensive, open-source, interdisciplinary Project-Based Learning (PBL) activities. You can download the lesson plans here.
These Learning Labs encourage students to think outside the box when solving problems and help them to better understand the concepts involved in applied design and technology including buoyancy, ecology, and ecological stewardship.
These labs can be adapted to a single day or extend for an entire term through around 30 additional extension-labs that cover a variety of topics.
Through this curriculum, students have the ability to have a long-term impact on both coral nurseries and plastic use at large, giving them ownership of their design and a chance to have a very real role in helping save our coral reefs.
Download the Project-Based Learning Labs that support The National Battling Biofoul Student Challenge by clicking the cover!
TIMELINE AND SUBMISSION DEADLINE
We will start accepting entries after the challenge opens on December 7th, 2020. Designs should be submitted here, below, by midnight on May 5th, 2021, National Teacher's Day. The winning design will be publicly announced at Coralpalooza 2021 on June 8th, 2020, World Oceans Day.
Entries should be submitted through the form at the bottom of this page.
The winning design will be decided by the restoration scientists at Coral Restoration Foundation™, based on how well they meet the guidelines above. Please also check the Coral Restoration Foundation™ Battling Biofoul Student Challenge terms and conditions HERE.
SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY HERE!
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