What do global warming, estuaries, hurricanes; boat wakes, coral reefs, juvenile fish, and artificial reefs have in common? The answer is; In the coming years, more than you ever thought.
David Walter DBA Walter Marine developed a business out of the effects of Global Warming. Walter says, I don’t know if global warming is man-made or a natural earth cycle, but man-made or not, warmer water temperatures and higher water levels are causing havoc on estuaries. Add to that, the marine environment must endure the additional stress of over fishing, man’s exploitation, and natural disasters. Fortunately, the ocean is incredibility resilient, but that does not mean we should sit on our hands and just hope for the better.
Walter thinks the best possible solution to solving the oceans problems is getting capitalism to work with conservation and not against it. Finding ways to slow down and reverse the detrimental effects man has on our marine resources has become an occupation for him. Walter became interested in artificial reefs in 1986 when he became the first commercial artificial reef builder in Alabama. Since then, he has become the largest deployer of artificial reefs in the United States. He holds two patents and one pending for artificial reefs.
He operates a large R & D department associated with his artificial reef business and is continuously experimenting with new designs. Walter says; Up until now, artificial reefs were designed to promote fishing and their potential for juvenile fish habitat was largely ignored. Walter saw a need for a specially designed reef to provide a protective estuary environment for juvenile fish to increase their survivability. The old Chinese Proverb Give a man a fish a fish and he will eat for day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for lifetime is literally, what Walter wants to do, using capitalism as a motivator. Walter says, Its in everyone best interest to be good stewards of our oceans. Increasing fish stocks is good for capitalism by promoting better recreational and commercial fishing, not to mention feeding the hungry in impoverished nations.
Walter’s new Eco-Reef incorporates Limestone in its structure and its appearance is almost natural looking, not unlike a geological Limestone outcroppings found underwater. Walter uses a concrete substructure to stabilize and sculpture the rock.
Besides estuary enhancement, his new design is ideally suited as alternative habitat for marine life on dying coral reefs, by providing food-producing habitat. The reef can also be used for erosion protection of shorelines. In the past, coastal protection focused solely on the barrier effect and ignored the marine life habitat aspect. This was largely due to shallow water reefs inability to survive strong currents and wave action close to shore. Walter hopes to change that with the Eco-Reef’s unique method of stabilization, solving the problems of settling, tipping over, and moving. The six thousand pound 4x X 4x X 4x reef is durable enough to survive shallow water wave action and Walter’s anchoring system assures it will stay there. With Walter’s design, erosion protection barriers can double as estuary habitat.
Walter did not stop at just creating a new reef design; he created an affordable method of manufacturing the reefs at all budget levels. Walter says; What good is a product if the people that need it the most can’t afford it.
1. Walter rents the molds and provides the training to use them. The method is so simple a person can learn the procedure in one days training.
2. One person is all that needed to operate the mold.
3. The mold can utilize varying amounts of concrete to accommodate different levels of production.
4. Walter encourages schools to use the reef mold as a classroom project and provides special prices for those who qualify.
5. Walter offers all levels of assistance up to and including fill turnkey projects of any size.
One method discussed with a potential customer, was to add the Eco-Reef production to construction contracts, requiring the left over concrete from pours, be used to build the Eco-Reef for almost no material cost.
Walter wants to see his reef used worldwide to help all the world’s countries restore their fisheries. Everyone must do their part in making sure our oceans are clean and productive for our children’s sake, said Walter.
He invites all inquiries. Visit his website at http://www.reefmaker.net