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Electricity Revives Coral
Jamais Cascio, 23 Aug 04

Alex posted last April about efforts to build and renew coral reefs using wire mesh and low-power electric currents, and noted that results weren't yet clear. Wired now reports that these grids have, in fact, been impressively successful:

The grids were then seeded with small fragments of live coral, which begin to grow "between five and 10 times faster than normal, with much brighter colors and more resilience to hot weather and pollution," said a co-owner of the Taman Sari Cottages, an American who goes by the single name Naryana.

Some corals have been transplanted directly onto the bars, attached by wires or wedged into specially designed spaces. Soft corals, sponges, tunicates and anemones were also transplanted. Vibrant colors and growth up to nearly a half inch in less than a month have been recorded. Grids that suffered power failures saw less vigorous development and duller colors.

"Today, the fish are back, including deepwater fish which come into the reef to rest during the daytime," Naryana said.

Coral reefs are critically important to maintaining healthy oceans, and are under increasing threat; it's good to know that we may have a way of keeping them around.

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