Addam Lockley’s love for the ocean and all its inhabitants is unquestioned. As the President of Coastal Warriors, he’s been working with a dedicated group of volunteers to clean up our local waterways for a while now. Taking things one step further, Addam is also very concerned about coral reefs, and the impact rising water temperatures has on this fragile lifeform. And, he may just have come up with a way to help …
Hi Addam. When we last spoke with you, it was about your role with Coastal Warriors. What role do you play with this group these days?
I am still the President of Coastal Warriors; we have a really great and passionate team and an amazing community of volunteers who make it possible to protect the environment.
You’ve been very busy developing exciting ideas around helping to preserve our coral reefs. Firstly, why is this cause so close to your heart?
I have spent the majority of my life living by the ocean and enjoying what the coast has to offer. I have been fortunate enough to check out coral reefs around the world and up at The Great Barrier Reef, and the beauty of life underwater is something I really love. It’s a place where you block out society, and there is no noise and just amazing colours and marine animals everywhere; it is definitely a place where I feel at home and happy.
To see reefs bleaching and dying and
witnessing it first hand in Fiji last year – it’s very sad. If something you love is being damaged or dying, you want to do whatever you can to protect it and from all the good things the ocean has given me, I feel as though I need to give back – so everybody has the opportunity to see its beauty.
What are some of the issues our corals are dealing with in today’s environment?
Whether people like to believe in climate change or not, science is showing us the facts – and the issues are right in front of us. Warmer ocean temperatures from climate change are causing mass coral bleaching to The Great
Barrier Reef, and recently Lorde Howe Island suffered a bleaching event.
Oceans are absorbing more and more carbon from fossil fuels, and at this rate we won’t have much left of The Great Barrier Reef in the next couple of decades.
Coral Reefs are home to approximately 25% of all marine life, so it would be a huge disaster if we lost the majority of reefs.
Introduce us to Coral Blue … what is it, and how will it work?
I have been working on ways to cool seawater to prevent coral bleaching, which led me to starting Coral Blue. I researched ways that could potentially work and picked up the phone and started calling engineers, universities, solar companies and marine scientists. I started working with an engineering company in Sydney, and we came up with a concept.
The unit pumps sea water in to the unit, and the water goes through a cooling component and is then pumped back out at the bottom. The other solution is for the unit to pump up water from deeper currents and pump the cooler water out at the top, to create the same effect.
The unit runs on solar and has back up storage batteries, to ensure enough power is in it.
At what stage are you up to with the
production of Coral Blue?
We are now in a position where we are trying to seek funding and raise money, so we can build a prototype to test the unit.
What skills and materials will you need to build a prototype?
We need positive attitudes and passionate people who like to have a go, which we have so far. We also need heat pumps, solar panels and other mechanical equipment that is sea water resistant.
Getting Coral Blue up and running will no doubt be an expensive project. How are you sourcing funds?
This has been the hardest task so far. We have set up a GoFundMe via our Coral Blue Facebook page, and we are continuing to liaise with the appropriate government departments to explore options.
Once you have a prototype built, what’s the next step? What tests/research will you need to undertake?
Once the prototype is built, we will look at options for a testing location – most likely in a swimming pool first, and then on to the reef.
Seeking permits to test the unit on the reef will most likely be a tricky task. We will then research water temperatures before and after testing for a few months and also check the visual health of the reef around the unit, to see the outcomes.
Where can we find out more info about what you’re doing?
You can check out our Facebook and Instagram page: Coral Blue.
Check out the GoFundMe page by clicking here.
Interview: Jo Robinson.