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

Oak Bay youth give teens a voice, explore homelessness, talk to seniors for podcasts

Teens pleased as teacher adds podcast creation to English 12 class

Tonight: Committee of the Whole meeting

Beach barbeques, dog restrictions in parks, BC Energy Step Code

Victoria man arrested for sexual assault on BC Transit bus

Incident took place downtown, in broad daylight in front of fellow passengers

Grey capes will fly as Kaiden’s Kape Krusaders tackle the Brain Tumour Walk at UVic

A year ago Kaiden, 10, one year ago I found out I had Anaplastic Ependymoma stage 3

VIDEO: Tide pool school draws a crowd to explore seaside in Oak Bay

Friends of Uplands Park hosted the inter-tidal exploration at Cattle Point on… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 22

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

B.C. man facing deportation says terror accusation left him traumatized

Othman Hamdan was acquitted of terrorism-related charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in September

Will Taylor Swift’s high concert ticket prices stop scalpers?

Move by artist comes as B.C. looks to how to regulate scalpers and bots reselling concert tickets

Saanich and Victoria councils to meet next month to discuss steps to amalgamation

Issues likely to loom large in the June 26 meeting include the perceived clarity of the question

36 fires sparked May long weekend, most due to lightning: BC Wildfire

As warmer weather nears, chief fire officer Kevin Skrepnek says too soon to forecast summer

Ariana Grande sends message of hope on anniversary of Manchester bombing

Prince William joins survivors and emergency workers for remembrance service

B.C. flood risk switches from snowmelt to rainfall: River Forecast Centre

Kootenays and Fraser River remain serious concerns

Most Read