Dear Blue Ranger,
We have been working on the Reef Support project for over one and a half months now. It has been busy, so it is time for an update! In the first weeks in Lombok, we have worked hard on the design of the lab. The lab will be around fifty square meters. It will have a concrete base and a wooden structure. The wood will be connected to the base using special pins, which make the lab resilient against moderate earthquakes. These may occur multiple times per month in Indonesia, and we of course do not want our lab to be damaged after its first month!
The walls are partly transparent, so people can see what is happening inside of the lab, light can get in to support the coral growth and to reduce wind stress in the coast.
We often visited the local community in Lombok, because they are going to be the ones involved in the lab. We met with Herman, the contractor for the Coral Reef Lab and presented our design. After writing the contract, we both signed it and the construction took off! The base was built in the first week of building, in the second week the wooden frame and roof were constructed. Currently we are at the end of the third week of building. This week the walls were built, and the roof was finished! Next week, the final touches will be done, like wood treatment and installation of the electricity system. We aim to have its opening on the 6th of January!
But of course, there is more. The lab is nothing without its equipment. That is in the end what will be allowing the Lombok people to restore coral reefs themselves!
In the same weeks as the designing of the lab, we met with the designers of our Reef tanks, Deddy. We discussed the designing, set up a contract and the Reef tanks could be created! We agreed on getting the first tank around the 5th of January, to have it present in the lab at its opening. Then we will have two weeks of testing and if everything goes well, we will order the rest of the tanks, donated by Students4Sustainability!
Last, but not least, we also got our PADI Diving Certificates. Coral reefs live in waters of ten plus meters deep, so to restore these corals, we need to be able to get there. Luckily, we all passed. We even did our first restoration dive already and it was a success (for inexperienced divers…)!
We wish you a happy new year, see you in the next update!
Tadé, Joppe, Alex and Xavier