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

Heat warning issued for Vancouver Island

Temperatures expected to cool down later this week

Saanich seals history with time capsule

Saanich will re-open time capsule in 2067

Short trip to car-free Sidney Spit offers camping, beaches, hikes

Sidney Spit is part of B.C.’s Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, a protected marine ecosystem

Women’s March Victoria keeps movement going with UVic symposium

Discussions, community building and fundraising event highlights women of colour, LGBTQ, immigrants

Canadian military gains valuable disaster experience at RIMPAC

Naval, air force and army personnel practise war activities, humanitarian relief

Royal Victoria Yacht Club sends strong presence to BC Summer Games

Oak Bay athlete Max Chapman competes in sailing this week

Proposed charges will cost Saanich housing affordability

The head of the association representing home builders in the Greater Victoria… Continue reading

B.C. teen meets Nicolas Cage

Filming mob movie in downtown Vernon, B.C.

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. MLAs choose new children’s watchdog

Jennifer Charlesworth has worked in government, social services

B.C. reporter calls out immigration photo on social media as fake news

A Vancouver reporter is calling out a British politician for spreading fake news

Hundreds of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

Out of 1,773 glaciers, 1,353 shrank significantly between 2000 and 2016

Indigenous housing providers worried Liberal proposals could put families on the streets

Indigenous housing providers raise alarms about future of federal funding deals

Most Read