Big Apple Initiative
When purchasing a Reef Bud you will be provided with a Certificate of Recognition for the reef bud(s) and GPS co-ordinates for its location.
The cornerstone of reef-regeneration efforts in Big Apple is the “reef-bud”, a major advance in artificial reef technology. These will be deployed at strategic locations around Puerto Galera. Reefbuds are a new technology developed in Batangas, the Philippines, by the late Austrian-German environmental geoscientist Dr. Harald Kremnitz and partner Benjamin Tayag Jr. In 2006, they won a Country Development Marketplace grant from the World Bank to finance a pilot program called the “REEForestation Using Recycled Waste Materials” project, placing reef-buds offshore from selected coastal towns through programs of the Philippine-Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP). Reef-buds are superficially similar to an established artificial reef technology made of concrete called a “reef-ball”. But on closer inspection, they are quite different. Reef-buds combine environment-friendly inorganic materials (including beach sand, cement and volcanic pebbles), and organic materials from a variety of possible sources. This special mix is formed into structures with the following characteristics:
A reefbud is like a sponge, absorbing sea water together with the marine life suspended in it, such as spores, plankton and algae. Even in strong currents, marine life can latch onto or take root in the reefbud as the currents drive them into its porous cavities.
The blend of materials in a reefbud reacts with sea water and triggers a calcification process much like the natural calcification processes that creates coral reefs, crab shells, turtle shells, etc.
Because reef-buds are massive structures (weighing from 400 to 650 kg) that become even heavier as they absorb sea water and marine life, they do not move even in strong currents during storms. Moreover, their hydrodynamic form allows currents to flow around them instead of pushing on them. This stability allows reef-buds to become permanent homes and spawning grounds for marine life.
EASILY AVAILABLE RAW MATERIALS
The main raw materials of reef-buds are beach sand and cement, which account for 75% by volume. The remaining 25% of the mix is biomass. In developing reef-buds, priority was given to assuring these materials would be available in close proximity to the locations where the reef-buds would be deployed. Particularly noteworthy is that reef-buds are made using sea water and beach sand, generally considered totally unsuited to concrete structures. The biomass can contain a range of ingredients available in coastal communities in the tropics, such as coconut husks or shredded rice stalks.
The most remarkable feature of reef-buds is the speed at which they fulfill their purpose. Algae, small fish, sea anemones and shellfish are found aplenty on reef-buds as soon as eight weeks after deployment even in a marine-dead area (only sand or mud), and there is currently no faster way to revitalize a severely damaged coral reef.
The first deployment of reef-buds took place in Mabini, Anilao, Batangas, in January 2007, with a plan to deploy 300 in total. However, due to delays caused by local authorities, full-scale implementation of the project was moved to Rosario, Cavite. Coastal waters off Rosario had long been considered “marine dead”. On the plus side, it had a more developed people’s organisation than Anilao, and a more dynamic local government, and most importantly, the Cavite Export Processing Zone, located in Rosario, was highly supportive of the project. Between 2007 and Dec. 31, 2012, no fewer than 1,165 reefbuds were deployed off Rosario. By all accounts, these have been so effective, the local fishing industry has been reborn. Before the arrival of reef-buds off Rosario, local fishermen travelled all the way to Bataan and Batangas provinces to fish. Now the situation has reversed, with fishermen from other provinces wanting to fish in Rosario. The number of boats registered to fish off Rosario grew from 1,200 in 2007 to over 3,500 in 2012.
Purchase a Reef Bud and you will be provided with a Certificate of Recognition for reef bud(s) as well as GPS co-ordinates of the location where it is deployed, you can then tag and monitor your Reef Bud in the future