Oceanic Coral Farm: Reconstructing and Preserving Aquatic Ecosystems – Sketchbook Friday

This week’s Sketchbook Friday project tackles the serious question of how the worlds oceanic ecosystem might be restored and protected. In an ideal world the best solution would be to stop polluting the waters in the first place, yet as history repeats itself I’m personally sceptical of the environment ever being seriously considered a valuable asset relative to our hunger for fossil fuels and cheap disposable products.

Oceanic Coral Farm Illustration Concepts
With this in mind let’s explore my brainstorms. Initially my idea was to design a floating platform, one that might perhaps be customizable with varying stack-able sections and areas.

What are the benefits of a floating platform?

  • Separation of organics from polluted water
  • Surface level management and preservation
  • Categorization of sub-ecosystems
  • Easy access for scientific study
  • Selective control over priority fauna and sea life
  • Close proximity to affected areas
  • Easily transported to new locations

With these benefits in mind my strategy would be to create multiple sections catering to the overall conservation effort. I would also recommend that the most essential conservation tasks be managed parallel to the best onboard platform space and technology available.  These individual sections might be dedicated to coral farming, endangered species rehabilitation and even resupplying vital nutrients back to the sea bed.

If for example Coral A, an essential nutritional source to a large population of sea life becomes endangered, then a platform might be dedicated specifically to the re-population of coral A, providing a stable artificial environment.

Mass Scale Oceanic Reconstruction

Another point I thought might of course be interesting to consider would be scalability. Considering the sheer size of the world’s oceanic ecosystem, it’s highly improbable that the Earths entire sea bed can be sustained. Instead the focus would be more towards supplementing key regions via a web of platforms. One example of this notion of decentralised networking is public transportation, think of these platforms as stations catering to a specific region of sea floor. An added benefit being the improved ability to map the sea floor, study pollution levels and count populations of local and migrating species.

Sub-Surface Aquatic Coral Farming

Following on from my ideas for an above sea level conservation platform, I decided why not also brainstorm some below surface architecture systems too.
Advantages:

  • Less complex construction
  • Weight more evenly distributed under water
  • Greater protection from storms and rough weather
  • Greater sea life interaction as a semi-artificial habitat

Disadvantages:

  • Greater potential exposure to water contaminates
  • Diving or hauling equipment necessary for access

With these considerations in mind I would argue that an ideal platform would combine both above and below surface segments. Perhaps water might even be pumped from the ocean feeding organics at the top level while trickling down nutrients to the ocean below. In principle this idea is nothing new, water pumps in aquariums often do a similar job filtering bacteria.

Structural design of the farms

One obvious idea is to perhaps focus outer layers on providing structural integrity while inner layers directly interact the oceanic ecology. Various layers might use mesh materials suitable for specific sea life and types of coral, thus simulating natural habitats more effectively. Organic life might also pass through these floating vessels rejuvenating the overall health almost like a life support system for dying areas of the ocean.

What are your thoughts on this idea? As always Sketchbook Friday is simply about sharing ideas, projects that receive more shares and comments receive ongoing future updates progressing the idea further into more technical and realistic plans and campaigns. I look forward to feedback and hope to see you next week for edition #08 of my weekly blog series.

This edition is part of my weekly blog series where I conduct thought experiments and generate new concept ideas ranging from innovative new tech to creative design kits. Ideas that receive the most shares will evolve form my original sketches to prototypes and potentially crowdfunding campaigns.