Nathan Cook

Mineral Accretion Technology

Nathan Cook
Marine Scientist, Reef Ecologic
Agincourt Reef, Queensland, Australia

Nathan is an applied scientist and specialist in coral reef restoration and capacity building with 20 years’ experience working in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. Nathan has worked with communities, tourism businesses and governments to activate and sustain meaningful on-ground actions to build the resilience of coral reefs. He has developed local-specific marine monitoring and assessment programs and established innovative coral reef restoration programs in several key locations around the world.

The issue

Parts of the Reef have become extremely degraded from climate change and local challenges. Whether from ocean acidification, storms and other severe weather events, or pollution, the Reef is under extreme stress and in many places has been damaged potentially beyond repair. Mineral Technology to support Reef Recovery is an innovative project that aims to support local businesses to restore the health of the GBR using innovative, eco-friendly solutions. The project aims to bring communities together to explore the social aspects of reef restoration.

Impact on the Reef

Disturbances are a natural part of coral reef ecosystems. Damaged reefs, if supported by favourable conditions like good water quality and a sufficient supply of new larvae, can recover in a few years. However the increasing frequency and intensity of disturbances at some locations is preventing reefs from recovering naturally. Direct intervention projects provide opportunities to assist the natural reef recovery and rehabilitation processes, and build coral reef resilience in the face of increasing threats.

Project aims

Working in partnership with Quicksilver Group, an innovative reef restoration technique will be implemented to support reef health for the first time at a high value tourism location on the Reef. Known as mineral accretion technology, this technology uses low voltage electrical current to boost calcium carbonate deposits on the reef, helping to stabilise the substrate and provide ideal settlement locations for coral recruitment. The project will encourage knowledge and skill sharing about monitoring and feedback between different stakeholders including visitors and the community. A partnership of government, science, industry, visitors and community will also be involved, and possibly educational school group visits.

Nathan Cook
As a planet dominated by people, we must become active players in supporting the health and resilience of our natural ecosystems, seeking solutions and supporting the inherent symbiosis we experience with the natural world. It is critical for our oceans and reefs. It is vital for the survival of our species.
Nathan Cook, Reef Ecologic

With the right support, this project will:

  • Increase coral growth rates, and coral cover at target site.
  • Assess the effectiveness of this innovative technique to stabilise loose coral rubble.
  • Investigate the potential for renewable energy to power reef restoration projects

Related actions

Unite for the reef.

Together, we can ease the pressures that the reef faces - but we need your support to do it. Because it’s only when we’re united as Citizens, that our individual actions can come together to make a real, physical impact on the Great Barrier Reef.