Week Without Walls: Building an artificial reef

15th Jun 2015
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This week, we joined forces again with the marine ecology education program Tawasul as part of the Week Without Walls program organised by Gem’s World Academy.

The reef building project, part of Gem’s World Academy’s (GWA) Week Without Walls, aims to increase awareness among school children of the importance of protecting the marine environment and its resources. We held a similar session last year with a group of school children, which was around educating them on the benefits of artificial reefs in encouraging biodiversity. They worked together to develop a simple eco-engineered reef design based on the local marine environment. This year, the objective of our session was to build and submerse an artificial reef off the coast of Jumeirah. Lots of work outdoors and creativity required!

We built two reef modules using a variety of recycled products and will monitor their effectiveness throughout the year. We used a lot of geosynthetics, which should form a diverse environment for marine growth and in the future attract other species such as Hammour. Ecocoast’s extensive geosynthetic trials and use on projects throughout the Gulf have proven geosynthetic to be a superior product for durability and encouraging marine biodiversity.

Our session with the students was followed by an Arabian Shark awareness project and then 2 days diving and beach clean-up in Musandam. As part of each course, students will be exposed to specialist presentations and practical in-ocean observations on marine ecology including coral monitoring, reef survey, sharks and sustainable consumption. Oh, to be at school again!