Today we deployed artificial reef structures that we call spiderpods to reinvigorate the delicate coral reef along the coast of Diani Beach. Backed by a generous grant from Padi Aware, our team set out on a mission to assemble and position seven of these experimental structures, poised to become the future home of thriving coral colonies. The spiderpods were made of metal rebar, coated with a natural epoxy and large sand particles. The coating aims to mimic the texture of natural reef substrate and provides an ideal foundation for hard coral to attach to.
First by snorkeling we identified the optimal location for deployment and then we managed to drop the structures from the boat in place. With our project coordinator and two Reef Rangers we went down beneath the surface, and assembled the spiderpods together to form a hexagonal structure on the bottom at around 10 m of depth. We utilized a sledge hammer and metal hooks to secure the spiderpods to the reef's hard substrate and ensure that the spiderpods remain in position in the stronge surges. In the coming week, corals will be carefully outplanted onto these structures, marking the beginning of a journey to monitor their growth and development.