Fishers Island Conservancy Fishers Island
Conservancy

Fishers Island Conservancy Advocacy Programs

Advocacy & Stewardship / Bio Rock

Overseeing environmental and security standards

Fishers Island students studied artificial coral reefs and constructed the domes over the winter in preparation of the deployment of the domes.

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.Students 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.

Article Written by Jane Ahrens and Science Teacher Carol Giles
Photos by Marlin Bloethe and Jane Ahren