Coral Winter

Honor Award

General Design

Chen Liu, Student ASLA; Pengcheng Yu; Yu Zhang; Yaoyuan Zhang; Mingzhe Dong; Yajie Shang; Shuna Wu
Faculty Advisors: Shoushuai Du; Xiaotian Li; Bing Liu
Shandong Agriculture University, Jiangnan University, Hainan University

As seawater temperatures rise due to climate change, whole ecosystems collapse, including coral reefs. This study does not aim to solve climate change, but rather focuses on managing change at a local level—specifically, around coral reefs in the Florida Keys. Combining wind, solar, and tidal energy, a self-propelled circulation device would measure reef water temperature, and effectively refrigerate it if the water became fatally warm. The strategy also includes coral aquaculture and the formation of shoreline mangroves to lessen the likelihood of negative human interaction with the delicate reef structure, with glass walkways to encourage hands-off coral viewing.

- 2020 Awards Jury

Project Credits

Wenxin Zhao

Bing Liu

Project Statement

We choose Florida Keys as our design site. Florida Keys distribute many Corals , Most Corals are facing coral bleaching. Their habitat is continually under threat from human activities and global warming in recent years. Increasing temperature, human pollution and other activities have caused the original colorful coral to lose its color and die. In order to relieve the coral bleaching crisis, Our team comprehensively analyzed the site ’s ecosystem, looking for its weakest link, taking human minimal intervention as the lead, and using ecological protection as a means to restore the coral ecosystem habitat to achieve harmony between human and nature Coexisting marine world.

We hope we could have an ASLA award, so that we can convey our design strategy to the people who are interested in it. We wish for more people to become aware of the environment.

Project Narrative

In 1971, corals still had a survivable water environment. After 30 years, we lost half of the world ’s corals. The first global coral bleaching event occurred from 1997 to 1998, and the world ’s 12th in 2010. The second coral bleaching event occurred, and now we are about to usher in the third global coral bleaching outbreak.

The development of human civilization burns fossil fuels, oil, gas and coal, and carbon dioxide rises to the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide has the characteristic of trapping hot gas, so the more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the more heat energy the earth has. The ozone layer is destroyed, and most of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases is absorbed by the ocean. Assuming that the ocean does not absorb the excess heat, the surface temperature will be 50 degrees Celsius, and the ocean absorbs these temperatures, causing the seawater temperature to be inconsistent. The rise in common sense makes most of the corals lose their suitable temperature for survival. The massive bleaching of coral reefs is the victim of global climate change.

There are several stages of coral death. The first stage is that the corals produce fluorescent colors locally. When a large area of ​​coral reefs emit different colors of fluorescence, it means their life ends. They use chemical sunscreens to protect themselves from high temperature damage. Then, the skeleton parts of the faded coral become white and bare, and finally the living tissue parts of the body gradually rot and finally die completely. The last stage of death looks Beautiful, as if calling life to humanity at the last moment, please see me! Please notice me!

This is also our original intention to choose this subject, so that more people can see such a beautiful marine life is about to go to extinction signal. Coral's death is silent, she is not like a forest fire, she is crazy about everything, let everyone face the scorched earth and death, and thus reflect on the relationship between humans and the natural environment. Coral will not call for help for his own pain, and his death will not attract human attention. This is very ironic. And human beings cannot bear the negative impact of losing all corals on the entire marine ecology. So through this competition, the main purpose is to allow more people to see the crisis of the ocean.

When the coral reef ecology is destroyed, the marine ecological chain will also be destroyed. And what we do is how to delay and protect the survival of coral. A large amount of data was collected in the early stage, and it was found that the main problem of coral bleaching is that the temperature of seawater rises due to global warming. When the temperature is not suitable for coral survival, corals will produce rejection reactions, and use the body for photosynthesis to produce nutrients. The zooxanthellae spit out and eventually died. Many people have done this subject, starting from different angles such as ecology and ocean, but I don't think these can solve the problems facing corals. Coral death is caused by rising seawater temperature. If the seawater temperature cannot be lowered, doing ecology is self-deception. The most direct and effective method is biotechnological intervention to modify the genes of the coral to increase the heat resistance of the coral. The scope of our landscape design. Since we cannot delay and solve the macroscopic problem of global warming, we can control the microscopic seawater temperature in a local area by artificial means to create a suitable environment for coral growth.

Next is the explanation of the main part of the design:
The thermostatic circulation device is divided into three parts. The upper part of the wind energy generator generates electric energy through the rotation of wind energy. The solar panel in the middle uses light energy to generate electricity. There is a temperature sensor in the lower part of the swivel. When the temperature is higher than the suitable survival temperature of the coral, the lower swivel will turn to form a cold water flow and reduce the temperature of the seawater. When the seawater is at a suitable temperature, the lower part of the device will rotate according to the flow of seawater, and then be converted into electrical energy through kinetic energy.
Taking into account energy use and resource conservation, our device is mainly self-generated electricity, using three clean and environmentally friendly energy sources of wind energy, solar energy, and tidal energy.

The refrigeration cycle device. We use the principle of hydrodynamics to start working with a machine as a module. The lower condensing machine feels that the temperature is too high and starts to rotate, forming a cold water flow. The second device also rotates. According to the principle of hydrodynamics, water will flow to a place with low temperature, so that when multiple machines rotate at the same time, the cold water will start to turn into a circulating flow. Using a machine as a module, it is assumed that 4 devices will form a circulation, and every four circulations will form a larger circulation, and then expand on this basis, 1, 4, 16, and finally can maintain seawater in a region Temperature provides suitable conditions for coral survival.

The Mangrove plant device. Florida coral bleaching is serious, and human activities are accelerating coral bleaching speed. This design builds an ecological barrier to isolate human activities and pollution, and restores the coral ecosystem by adjusting the marine environment to mitigate the coral bleaching problem. Florida reef islands is vast. Due to the perennial wave wash, the reef islands do not have the soil and other nutrients required by plants, and most of them are exposed. The mangrove installation was designed for mangroves and other plants to grow under harsh conditions. The device is composed of three parts: stabilizer, sediment collector and seed incubator. 1. The stabilizer can stably place the device around the coast of the reef island and other shores, and carry the scouring performance of the waves. 2. The incubator contains the nutrients required for the germination of mangrove seedlings. After the seedlings take root and germinate in the device, the root system conforms to the dish. The imitation root structure at the lower end grows and eventually grows in the external environment. 3. The device has the function of collecting sediment, and the collected marine organic matter can provide the soil components required for the growth of mangroves for a long time.

We also put artificial infant coral in coral bleaching area, cause they can help the coral of the Florida Keys recover from bleaching.

Public participation also become an important part of protecting the environment. We design the app to help visitors have a rewarding experience. Using our app you can book educational activities and volunteer activities. App shows clearer real-time status on what's happening in coral. People could see beautiful coral through app so they do not need to tough coral, which will accelerating coral bleaching.

As landscape designers we have the duty to take care of our increasingly vulnerable environment for ourselves and for our later generations.