Care for coral

By opening the world’s first Coral Engine in the Bahamas, Van Oord has achieved a major milestone in environmentally responsible maritime infrastructure development. The Coral Engine is an underwater nursery designed to function as a sustainable source of fast-growing coral that can be used to rehabilitate existing or to create new coral reefs. 

Ingenuity

Commentary by
stakeholders:

Commodore
Tellis Bethel

Commander for Bahamas Royal Defence Force

Casuarina McKinney-Lambert
Executive Director of Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation

Hayley-Jo Carr
Head of Training at Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas

Coral Engine and ReefGuard
‘The Coral Engine is an underwater coral nursery that contains both locally sourced coral fragments and sexually produced coral juveniles of varying ages,’ Mark explains enthusiastically. ‘We shipped our mobile coral breeding facility ReefGuard to the Bahamas and produced thousands of sexual recruits from local spawning events on our preconditioned settlement substrates. As the corals grow, the Coral Engine is a continuous source of outplantable corals that allow local stakeholders to create and, if necessary, rehabilitate their coral reefs.’

‘When we carry out dredging and construction work, it’s vital to consider the interests of the environment and local stakeholders,’ says Mark van Koningsveld, Research & Development Engineering Manager at Van Oord. ‘The Bahamas are famous for their white-sand beaches, azure sea and fabulous marine life, making them a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Before we started working in this beautiful environment, we took various measures to protect the vulnerable surrounding coral reefs. For example, we relocated coral situated in the footprint of the access channel to a host site nearby to ensure their preservation. In addition, Van Oord developed the Coral Engine.’

Protecting the environment
‘As a family-owned business founded 150 years ago, Van Oord plays an active role in caring for the planet now and in the future by guarding and protecting the environment. We strive to minimise the potential negative impact of our work on the marine environment and encourage our ingenious engineers to develop more sustainable 


working methods and innovations. The Coral Engine and associated deployment of the ReefGuard are excellent examples of this. They showcase our Marine ingenuity,’ concludes Mark.

Care for coral
Ingenuity

By opening the world’s first Coral Engine in the Bahamas, Van Oord has achieved a major milestone in environmentally responsible maritime infrastructure development. The Coral Engine is an underwater nursery designed to function as a sustainable source of fast-growing coral that can be used to rehabilitate existing or to create new coral reefs. 

Commentary by stakeholders:

‘The Royal Bahamas Defence Force played a decisive role in the development of the Coral Engine. We have provided an ideal and secure location, with the facilities that Van Oord’s research team needed to set up their lab. My team, which took the first step towards preserving our natural resources, agreed that this type of civil-military cooperation fits in perfectly with our goal of safeguarding our heritage.’

Commodore
Tellis Bethel

Commander for Bahamas Royal Defence Force

Casuarina McKinney-Lambert
Executive Director of Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation

Hayley-Jo Carr
Head of Training at Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas

‘It’s our mission to promote the conservation of the Bahamian marine environment. We deploy a variety of methods to educate and engage children and adults about the importance of our marine and coastal environments. Coral reefs are critically important for fisheries, shoreline protection, tourism and recreation, and the Coral Engine makes an important contribution to our programmes that will increase awareness. We look forward to continuing our collaboration and increasing the positive impact of this state-of-the-art initiative.’

‘Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas provides a Coral Nursery Specialty Course for divers. Once they’re certified, these divers can help look after the nursery and plant corals on the surrounding reef. This is how we encourage conservation groups, schools, members of the public and tourists to visit the site and become actively involved in developing the Coral Engine. We will also be maintaining the nursery to secure its future.’ 

‘When we carry out dredging and construction work, it’s vital to consider the interests of the environment and local stakeholders,’ says Mark van Koningsveld, Research & Development Engineering Manager at Van Oord. ‘The Bahamas are famous for their white-sand beaches, azure sea and fabulous marine life, making them a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Before we started working in this beautiful environment, we took various measures to protect the vulnerable surrounding coral reefs. For example, we relocated coral situated in the footprint of the access channel to a host site nearby to ensure their preservation. In addition, Van Oord developed the Coral Engine.’

Coral Engine and ReefGuard
‘The Coral Engine is an underwater coral nursery that contains both locally sourced coral fragments and sexually produced coral juveniles of varying ages,’ Mark explains enthusiastically. ‘We shipped our mobile coral breeding facility ReefGuard to the Bahamas and produced thousands of sexual recruits from local spawning events on our preconditioned settlement substrates. As the corals grow, the Coral Engine is a continuous source of outplantable corals that allow local stakeholders to create and, if necessary, rehabilitate their coral reefs.’

Mark van Koningsveld
Research & Development Engineering Manager at Van Oord

Protecting the environment
‘As a family-owned business founded 150 years ago, Van Oord plays an active role in caring for the planet now and in the future by guarding and protecting the environment. We strive to minimise the potential negative impact of our work on the marine environment and encourage our ingenious engineers to develop more sustainable working methods and innovations. The Coral Engine and associated deployment of the ReefGuard are excellent examples of this. They showcase our Marine ingenuity,’ concludes Mark.

Sandy Bottom project
In 2014, the government of the Bahamas, Van Oord and Damen Shipyards signed an agreement covering a rigorous upgrade of the naval bases on three islands and the delivery of a fleet of new patrol vessels. ‘Our scope in the Sandy Bottom project included dredging, constructing several breakwaters and quay walls, and corresponding civil engineering works,’ says Van Oord’s Area Manager August Runge. ‘The work was spread out over sites up to 700 kilometres apart. We recently finished the construction work.’ The project team was awarded for their safety attitude. They took excellent preparation measures for hurricanes, including hurricane Irma, and they kept safety top of mind which resulted in zero lost time incidents.  

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About Marine ingenuity

As a global maritime contractor, Van Oord focuses on dredging, oil & gas infrastructure and offshore wind. Marine ingenuity is Van Oord’s signature and the foundation of our success. It is the spark that lights the spirit of our professionals.
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About Marine ingenuity

As a global maritime contractor, Van Oord focuses on dredging, oil & gas infrastructure and offshore wind. Marine ingenuity is Van Oord’s signature and the foundation of our success. It is the spark that lights the spirit of our professionals.