09/11/2012 (press release: JaturontThan)
The organically occurring coral reef has long been a source of natural resources for aquatic and land-based life alike, providing natural barriers that regulate water flow in the depths of oceanic floors and homes for a diverse set of creatures. The recent flooding on our southern coast has prompted an unprecedented expansion of Her Majesty the Queen’s Coastal Natural Resources Initiative in the form of the development of an artificial reef as part of our efforts to both prevent this sort of disaster from re-occurring and to help accentuate some of the already thriving portions of our nation’s coastal tourist industry.
Artificial reefs are man-made structures placed underground, usually built to aid in the promotion of marine life in areas where the bottom of the ocean floor is otherwise barren. It’s also used to minimize corrosion, prevent ships from passing through certain channels, and in some rare cases, to improve coastal surfing conditions. Most of these reefs are built with discarded objects like various forms of rubble, PVC or concrete structures. The idea is to manufacture structures that are resistant to corrosion so that various invertebrate marine lives like algae, oysters, barnacles, or biological coral can nest. These invertebrates, in turn, offer various fish and other more advanced marine life food sources that would not otherwise have been there.
The Royal Thai Army has the benefit of a surplus of some of our armaments. The downside of this surplus is that there were both a decided lack of space to hold them and, unfortunately, a number of them were in such disrepair that said surplus was an encumbrance on our ability to function. To that end and as part of the Natural Resources Initiative, we have donated a number of our obsolete tanks to create an artificial reef. Not only does this initiative allow for us to put otherwise inoperable machinery to a constructive use, here are a few other benefits that our artificial reefs are meant to provide:
Increased Seafood Availability
Our delectable shrimp and cephalopods, almost as popular abroad as they are here, need a place to be born and grow before they’re caught, packaged, and sent to both far-off places and our own citizens’ dinner plates. These tanks offer that marine life a place to grow.
Natural coral reefs are often called the rain forests of the ocean. Why? Because the coral reef offers a perfect home for a wide array of marine plant and animal life by providing camouflage, housing, and, in many cases, sustenance to these creatures. While the tanks are hardly edible, they do provide ample living surface and shelter that was either wholly unavailable or washed away after last year’s storms.
A Boost To Tourism
Snorkelers and scuba divers around the world seek new and exciting environments in which to swim and explore. Many other countries have acknowledged this and deliberately sunk obsolete ships along their shores to give their visitors places to discover new marine life and other oddities not normally available to them in their every day lives. Imagine the added benefit for a snorkeler when they come upon a submerged tank!
Coastal Erosion Protection
The practical benefit to this portion of the Royal-Initiated Coastal Natural Rehabilitation program is obvious, but worth noting: the floods that hit our country last year went on record as not only the worst natural disaster Thailand has experienced in five decades, but as one of the most expensive in world history. In order to prevent this sort of disaster from re-occurring, we took steps to ensure that our shores themselves were safeguarded from the effects of ever-rising waters. This line of artificial reefs will aid in this by slowing the flow of waters as they approach the shore.
Quick, decisive action and versatility of use and purpose are key to providing safety oto the Thai people. While we at the Royal Army are committed to defending our people against threats of a more conventional nature, it’s also beneficial to all of us if and when we’re able to defend against elemental ones as well. The tanks currently at the bottom of our southern coastline could no longer serve Thailand on the ground, but their service to our safety from underwater will last for decades to come.
Social Media Tags:Royal Thai Army, The South of Thailand, Thai Coral Reef, Thailand Flood
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