Saving Coral Reefs with Pipes


“Coral bleaching at Heron Island Feb 2016_credit The Ocean Agency / XL Catlin Seaview Survey / Richard Vevers” by #StopAdani is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By: Abigail Romero, Reporter

Civil Engineer Mo Ehsani believes that all it will take to save the coral reefs are pipes. “This is our planet, and we are messing it up and not taking care of it. We have a moral obligation to try to restore the reefs to their original condition and stop the destruction.” He was determined to find a solution to coral bleaching.

Coral bleaching occurs when the water gets too warm and the algae that give the coral color are forced out. Coral bleaching is caused by a variety of reasons including pollution and runoff, high temperatures, exposure of sun light for excessive periods of time, and extremely low tides. Coral can recover from bleaching, but temperatures have to return to normal in order to do so.

Thriving Coral Reef
“Panama Marine Life – Coral Reefs” by thinkpanama is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0″Panama Marine Life – Coral Reefs” by thinkpanama is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Mo Ehsani’s plan for restoring the coral reefs and reversing coral bleaching is to use energy produced by the waves to pump cool water through a pipe to the stressed and over heating coral reefs. This plan is low cost and probably sustainable. The pipes are durable, light, and are fiber-reinforced polymer The pipes are cost-efficient, produced by QuakeWrap which is the company Ehsani founded.

Although, the “wave energy converter” is still being developed, the pump that will move the cold water to the coral and the fiber polymer pipe that will transport the water have been developed. Hopefully, Ehsani and his company can continue to look into it and continue expanding and refining it.