Update August 2015:
Students continue to monitor the bio-rock project funded by the FI Conservancy and FI School. In the photos below they are comparing the oysters that have been living in the bio-reef nets to the baseline numbers taken in June 2015. This includes measuring the length, width, and mass of a sampling of the 300 oysters originally placed in June. Each dome has 100 oysters hanging in a lantern net in the middle. Photos by Science Teacher Carol Giles. (Click any photo to see a larger image.)
Find out more in the story below.
Bio-Rock Project Phase II
June 16, 2015
By Science Teacher Carol Giles
Photos by Marlin Bloethe and Jane Ahrens
19 students studied artificial coral reefs and constructed the domes over the winter in preparation of the deployment of the domes.
June 6 and 7, 2015 three geodesic domes were placed in the water in front of Rhonda and Luke Fowler’s house at Hay Harbor. Julio Aquirre, an electrical engineer affiliated with Eccosolution wired solar panels to a storage battery on shore that will send a low voltage to two of the domes. The third will be far enough away and serve as a control. Fishers Island students Craig Mrowka, AJ Eastman, and Charlie Snyder measured the length, width, and mass of 300 oysters for baseline data. Each dome will have 100 oysters hanging in a lantern net in the middle.
The objective of the project is to demonstrate the effect of low voltage on mineral deposition such as calcite and aragonite from the seawater and the growth rate of indigenous oysters (American Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica). Both the mineral deposition and oyster growth on the dome is designed to make an artificial reef whose functions include: shoreline protection, ecological bioremediation, improve water quality, habitats for indigenous species, and research opportunity for FI students.
Special thanks goes to the Fowler Family who has graciously allowed us to house our bio-rock domes in their front yard and dock, FI Conservancy whose grants made this research opportunity possible, Karen Goodwin for writing and earning grant money and orchestrating the entire process, FI School Board for approving the usage of the grant, Sarah and Steve Malinowski for the generous oyster donation, and Dr. Thomas Goreau, inventor of Biorock, for coming to Fishers and overseeing the installation process with Julio Aguirre and Roger Bason.
Click on any photo to see a larger image or view as a slideshow.