Dutch startup uses biopolymers to restore reefs

0
154

In the Netherlands, biologists from Burger’s Zoo in Arnhem have teamed up with Delft-based startup Reefy and University of Wageningen to test materials for coral reef restoration in the zoo’s 750,000-liter aquarium. 

The material is an undisclosed biopolymer that is biodegradable.  “The coral needs a base to grow on. By the time the coral is mature, the materials will have fully degraded,” Reefy cofounder Leon Haynes told Dutch News. 

The artificial habitats are durable enough to withstand hurricanes and feature a tunnel for fish and other sea life to shelter. The material also had to be thoroughly tested for toxicity. 

Reefy is currently looking for funding to move its concept into oceans. Coral is vital for ocean biodiversity and provides essential barriers to erosion.