THE ART REEF PROJECT Saving the World’s Oceans with Beauty
Coral reefs are an essential part of life in the ocean. Not only are they enchantingly beautiful, they also provide homes for countless species of fish. About 25% of marine species live near coral reefs, and the number of fish living in waters near coral reefs far exceeds the number of fish in coral reef-less waters.
Coral reefs are also important for humans. It’s estimated that almost $172 billion US dollars each year comes from coral reefs. They protect shorelines, provide medicine, and are important for tourism.
But coral reefs have been dying over the last several decades. Approximately 30% of the world’s coral reefs have already been destroyed, and scientists believe another 30% will be lost in just 30 more years if the current rate of destruction continues. The death of coral reefs is caused by rising water temperatures throughout the earth’s oceans.
Vito Di Bari, who has always had a passion for the exploring the beauty of the natural world, wanted to do something about this.
Di Bari has a reputation for unique ideas that bring together the latest technologies and eco-sustainability. His many memorable art installations throughout the world reflect his commitment to building the world of the future today–while preserving the beauty of the environment.
That’s why he wanted to be part of the Paradise Reef Project, which aims to re-introduce coral reefs into the oceans around the state of Florida. Vito Di Bari designed the Turtle Art Reef project, which was installed off the coast of Naples, Florida in June 2017. The never-before-seen art installation is made of several stone panels that will be placed at the bottom of the ocean. These panels are made from nearly pH neutral concrete, with small pieces Florida limestone, which is the perfect base to provide a safe place for new coral reefs to grow.
The panels are assembled in a shape that reflects the sea turtle, an animal picked by the city of Naples as an icon of the area. Because of the destruction of coral reefs, all species of sea turtles near Naples are either threatened or endangered. Di Bari chose the sea turtle with the goal of painting a picture of the species that are disappearing from the planet because of the loss of coral reef.
“I believe that beauty will save the world, and I’m creating sculptures of what our planet might have lost forever. Living sculptures to be deployed in the seas of the world and will come to life with re-born corals depicting the footprints of the disappearing human civilizations, flora and fauna of our planet.”
When the project was first placed on the seafloor near Naples, the stone panels were plain and blended in with the sand. But within six months, the panels began to take on a colorful hue as coral began creating reefs. It’s estimated that in three years’ time, the entire installation will be covered in living, beautiful coral–turning the plain stone panels into an iconic design that can be seen from space.
Vito Di Bari has had a lifelong obsession with creating beauty in the world, and his designs for cities of the future represent a perfect blending of technology and a love of nature. Both sustainable and usable, Di Bari’s creations are unique in the world of futuristic design.
The panels used for the Art Reef Project are made of concrete and limestone. They will soon be covered in beautiful, living coral reefs.
The never-before-seen art installation was installed off the coast of Naples, Florida in June 2017.
Each modular piece is 8 ft. tall, 10 ft. wide and have over a 43-ft. square footprint on the ocean floor.
The Art Reef project is designed to look like a giant sea turtle, and once coral reefs have built their home on it, it will become an iconic landmark.