The world’s coral reefs are threatened by rising sea temperatures, destructive fishing, coastal development, invasive species, damage from marine recreation, storm damage and higher acidity. Melody Saunders Brenna is an entrepreneur with a plan to restore damaged reefs using nanotechnology.
Melody notes that the reefs are critical for humans as 1 in 10 people rely on reefs for food. Furthermore, she estimates that $350+ billion annual income is at risk. Something needs to be done.
She has launched Reef Life Restoration and Reef Life Foundation to help create new, living, thriving reefs. The literal foundation of the plan is “cast marine cell structures” that look and feel like lightweight concrete blocks, some formed with embedded nano-particles that foster rapid coral growth.
“Our diverse nano science coral cell matrices provide faster growth for food, fish, minerals, medicines and pH balance.”
The concrete pieces can be designed into almost any shape and configuration. She can optimize the blocks for deployment from a vessel so as to be able to maximize the amount of reef that can be restored in a single trip by the fewest people. Using the same technology, she can create beautiful underwater structures, imagine a reconstructed Atlantis at a resort, that would appear to be a beautiful concrete structure on the day it is installed but that will become a vibrant, living coral reef within two years.
One of the challenges that Melody has faced is that over the years she has been working on this project, there hasn’t always been a sense of urgency like there is today. “When we started this journey to investigate coral cell structures, people thought there was no need for our science, testing and funding to solve these dilemmas. The global outlook on oceanic problems was not in the news. We forged ahead and bootstrapped ourselves in this effort. Now, scientists all over the globe are now coming to us for solutions.”
Funding, however, remains a challenge. “Getting governments, funders, and foundations to actively participate and get started is the biggest problem we face.”
She adds, “We deeply believe that nanoscience saves nature and marine site solutions are worth the work!”
Melody believes that starting with even one reef can make a difference. “One reef at a time, one healthy marine environment which incubates coral, bringing fish, oxygen and growth will spread, no matter how small the start.”
Her vision is to play a role in the restoration of the health of our oceans globally. “Increasing growth of food, minerals, medicines and healthy oceans impacts each child of the next generation and their children.” She plans to continue her work with a scientific focus to find better ways to restore the reefs.
On Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 2:00 Eastern, Melody will join me here for a live discussion about her work to restore threatened reefs using nanotechnology. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More About Reef Life Restoration:
Our diverse nano science coral cell matrices provide faster growth & new IP for food, fish, minerals, medicines and pH balance. Advanced sustainable manufacturing: reefs, sea walls, resort/dive attractions, marine centric growth substrates, future scientific innovations. IP in development for acidification restoration elements for site specific pH improvement. Toxic absorption walls can contain heavy metals like mercury and hold toxic runoff away from marine sanctuaries. Coral growth plate “blankets” for vertical slope reefs which suffer from bombing by fishermen, site specific consultation and development of solution for single or multiple problems in marine environments. Reef Life Foundation serves to grow marine education, innovation, and place reef restoration globally.
- Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas – Bachelor’s Degree – Marketing
- Design Firm Owner – Selling products to Saks Fifth Avenue & Neiman Marcus.
- Advertising Agency Co-owner – New Orleans, Louisiana – Winner of Addy Awards
- Art Gallery Owner – Santa Fe, New Mexico – Canyon Road
- Winner of Chamber of Commerce Innovation Award – 1998
- CEO – Milestone Cast Stone Manufacturing – 1999 – 2009
- Winner of Chamber of Commerce Top Millennium Business – 2000
- Winner of Texas State Export Achievement Award – 2003
- Recognition from Texas State Senate for Global Export Success – 2003
- Top Small Business Person Award – West Texas Region and the State of Texas – 2003
- Director’s Choice Business Person for the Southern United States – 2004 (Awarded by SBA)
- Chairwoman of Global Export Committee -Texas Chamber of Commerce – 2004 – 2006
- Board Member – District Export Council (West Texas Region) – 2006 – 2012
Currently – CEO of Reef Life Restoration VICON Nano Science, creating Sustainable Cement industry niche opportunities utilizing technology developed by Vicon Nano Science, Dr. Konstantin Sobolev over the course of 14 years. Dedicated to growing sustainable construction companies focused on Nano Materials Science and advanced cement and sealant innovation as well as LAM High Performance Building Systems utilizing proprietary cellular concrete technologies. The closed cell lightweight concrete can encapsulate industrial waste products including low level nuclear debris; testing protocols and results available. ACI recently acknowledged more than double strength cellular concrete panels than any other panel manufacturer in ACI 523 for Milestone as competitors struggle to hit 800PSI, Milestone strength testing over 7 years hits 1900psi for its proprietary LAM Cellular structural wall panels.
Funded a new Materials Science Lab for West Texas A&M University; advanced materials testing of magnesium oxides, working with Argonne National Laboratories. Invited to the State of Florida in 2005 to study and create reef repair and regeneration materials. Created research division for eco-cements including reef and marine environment composites, air and surface cleaning sealants, and multiple cement-related high performance mixtures and topical treatments. Melody won a Chamber Of Commerce Innovation Award in 1998 after creating the first interactive design website in the cast stone industry. In 1999, Melody took over as CEO of Milestone Architectural. Milestone’s nationwide clients from the Watergate in Washington to prestige commercial and residential projects garnered substantial media and business recognition. The Chamber of Commerce Award in 2000 for the Top Millennium Business began a series of enterprise level national awards in addition to Addy Design Awards. Milestone won an Export Achievement Award in 2003 and was recognized by the Texas Senate for Global Export Success. In recognition of her accomplishments, Melody was awarded the Top Small Business Person for both the West Texas Region and the State of Texas in 2003, from the Small Business Administration (SBA) in Washington D.C., competing against firms in Dallas, Houston, Austin and other Texas regions. She was subsequently chosen in 2004 for Director’s Choice Business Person for the Southern United States, again by the SBA in Washington, with four other leaders within a ten state region. 2004-2006 she served as Chairman of the Global Export Committee within the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce. In 2006-2010 Melody was nominated and served on the Board of the District Export Council (West Texas region) whose members are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to further global exporting from the State of Texas.
Melody was invited to Libya in 2006, through 2008 on multiple occasions to investigate, propose solutions for and outline design and implementation for the restoration of Roman Ruins, and property development around ruins utilizing Milestone mold technologies to pull mold replicas so that hotel, museum and other elements are just like walking through the ruins themselves, yet serving as a tourist mecca, historic and cultural educational experience. Libyan and other Global UNESCO Historic Property Restoration information outlines and packages available upon request.
Her community service projects always have a focus on helping children, ranging from health to housing as Board Member of the Presbyterian Children’s Home, Amarillo, Texas in which she and her father, Guyon H Saunders renovated the eight homes within the Children’s Complex. Melody was instrumental in renovating the exterior of the Guyon Saunders Resource Center which houses all of the United Way Agencies, shelters for homeless, Head Start education centers. Melody remains active in participation, donations and innovative fund raising for multiple charitable organizations globally including The Hunger Project. A fourth generation Rotarian, she follows in the footsteps of her families interest in creating educational opportunities for Americas youth.
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Devin is a journalist, author and speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!