The world’s coral reefs are threatened by rising sea temperatures, destructive fishing, coastal development, invasive species, damage from marine recreation, storm damage and higher acidity. Melody Saunders Brenna is an entrepreneur with a plan to restore damaged reefs using nanotechnology.
Melody notes that the reefs are critical for humans as 1 in 10 people rely on reefs for food. Furthermore, she estimates that $350+ billion annual income is at risk. Something needs to be done.
She has launched Reef Life Restoration and Reef Life Foundation to help create new, living, thriving reefs. The literal foundation of the plan is “cast marine cell structures” that look and feel like lightweight concrete blocks, some formed with embedded nano-particles that foster rapid coral growth.
“Our diverse nano science coral cell matrices provide faster growth for food, fish, minerals, medicines and pH balance.”
The concrete pieces can be designed into almost any shape and configuration. She can optimize the blocks for deployment from a vessel so as to be able to maximize the amount of reef that can be restored in a single trip by the fewest people. Using the same technology, she can create beautiful underwater structures, imagine a reconstructed Atlantis at a resort, that would appear to be a beautiful concrete structure on the day it is installed but that will become a vibrant, living coral reef within two years.
One of the challenges that Melody has faced is that over the years she has been working on this project, there hasn’t always been a sense of urgency like there is today. “When we started this journey to investigate coral cell structures, people thought there was no need for our science, testing and funding to solve these dilemmas. The global outlook on oceanic problems was not in the news. We forged ahead and bootstrapped ourselves in this effort. Now, scientists all over the globe are now coming to us for solutions.”
Funding, however, remains a challenge. “Getting governments, funders, and foundations to actively participate and get started is the biggest problem we face.”
She adds, “We deeply believe that nanoscience saves nature and marine site solutions are worth the work!”
Melody believes that starting with even one reef can make a difference. “One reef at a time, one healthy marine environment which incubates coral, bringing fish, oxygen and growth will spread, no matter how small the start.”
Her vision is to play a role in the restoration of the health of our oceans globally. “Increasing growth of food, minerals, medicines and healthy oceans impacts each child of the next generation and their children.” She plans to continue her work with a scientific focus to find better ways to restore the reefs.
Watch the full interview with @devindthorpe here:
Devin Thorpe was a finance guy until he realized life wasn’t all about the money. As a new-media journalist and founder of the Your Mark on the World Center, Devin has established himself as a champion of social good. As a Forbes contributor, with 350 bylines and over one million unique visitors, he has become a recognized name in the social impact arena. His YouTube show, featuring over 600 celebrities, CEOs, billionaires, entrepreneurs and others who are out to change the world, has been viewed over 200,000 times.