Claremont students help build reef balls for Inner Harbour

Reef balls will go in ‘dead zone’ beside Victoria International Marina

High school students crowded to push and smush wet concrete into a quartet of fibreglass-framed reef balls on Wednesday.

Despite wearing heavy duty gloves, Grade 9 students from Claremont’s International Global Studies ended up with concrete on their clothes as they guided the concrete, pouring out of a Butler Bros. concrete mixer, into the one-metre wide frames. Inside each frame is a recognizable orange buoy. The concrete dries into a ball around the buoy, and the buoy is then removed as the balls are placed into the seabed.

“Today is the day we add [concrete] but we’ve been learning about the [reef balls] and where they’ll go, what they’ll do, for a few days now,” said student Grace MacMaster.

Once the concrete is dry the reef balls will be dropped into a “dead zone” on the west side of the Victoria International Marina. It’s an idea from the company behind the design and construction of the marina, said Eric Li, director of lifestyle and technology with VIM.

“The goal is to create the reef balls with students as a source of education and to improve the [marine] environment at the marina,” Li said. “We should have already documented how much the sea life has recovered under the marina, it’s amazing.”

As the engineers who helped install giant wind turbines into the ocean floor of the North Sea have learned, the more infrastructure that’s available, the more sea life will attach itself and grow. In the North Sea, mussel populations booming. Here in the Inner Harbour, it’s the usual variety of small fish, which are starting to invite predators, Li said.

“We have seals coming through and we’re hoping to host salmon fry in a net pen, if we can get permission,” Li said.

Once the reef balls settle Li said they’ll consider adding up to 15 to create a reef.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

National championship tees off Tuesday at Oak Bay’s Victoria Golf Club

Oldest 18-hole course in Canada in its original location hosts Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship

Police seek vehicle after early morning carjacking in Oak Bay

Stolen car is a 1999 Oldsmobile Alero, license plate FL307T

Salmon Fest serves up support for Kiwanis Pavilion

Scrumptious fundraiser enjoys success for second year

No new leads in 1992 Guyatt murder case

Newspaper clippings will not lead to the discovery of Shannon Guyatt’s body, says police

Tesla internship calls for UVic designer of electric ‘Caboost’

Saanich’s Simon Park to test design of his invention at Tesla

Oak Bay brothers scoop 10 kg of poop from park paths in 30 mins

Family picks up dog poo to give back, inspire others to be more responsible

Bear kills off-leash dog in B.C. park

There have been nearly 200 pet or livestock and bear encounters so far this year

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Trudeau says he won’t apologize to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

Prime Minister had accused woman of racism as she shouted about illegal immigration at Quebec rally

Documentary filmed in B.C. nominated in ‘Wildlife Oscars’’

Toad People is the only Canadian film to be nominated in this year’s Panda Wilderness Awards

B.C. man builds 10-foot sign thanking fire responders

Ken Rawson built his “thank u” sign on Saturday as helicopters responded to fires around the province.

PHOTOS: Olympian Patrick Chan helps B.C.’s ‘SuperChefs’ celebrate 10th anniversary

Former figure skater among those at event Friday in Surrey

Smaller B.C. bus service prepares to replace Greyhound

Kootenay-to-Okanagan run would require online reservations

Most Read