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

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Challengers topple incumbents in several South Island races

2018 civic election ushers in new faces across the CRD

Victoria and Saanich voters elect to move ahead with amalgamation talks

Victoria and Saanich voters have chosen to move ahead with exploring amalgamation… Continue reading

Prank pizzas delivered to Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps’ campaign celebration

The fake orders happened throughout Helps’ campaign

VIDEO: Tent city moves to Woodwynn Farm, arrests made

The group is asking the government to provide housing for 60 tent city members

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for Oct. 19

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

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

Most Read