Coil Reef Project

Over the course of this summer research project, we investigate the plausibility of placing a titanium coil  structure to artificially induce reef growth for the purpose of wildlife rehabilitation, increase biodiversity in influenced biospheres, and reduce erosion caused by wave energy.  In order to do this, a titanium coil structure was fabricated, assembled, and mounted to the underside of the Cal Poly Pier where it is routinely monitored for wildlife growth. 

Our Team

We are the team who put this project into motion.

Peyton Archibald

Mechanical Engineering
Team member

Peyton is a 4th year Mechanical Engineering major

Blaine Benham

Team member

Blaine is a 4th year Biology Major

Professor Benham

Project Advisor

Prof. Benham is a Professor of Materials Engineering at Cal Poly specializing in Corrosion Engineering


We would like to thank Professor Benham and Professor Shollenberger for making this research project possible. Additionally, we would like to thank Jason Felton, Tom Moylan, and the rest of the staff of the Cal Poly Pier for offering an abundance of support and advice to make this project a success.

Progression of Growth

Day 0
Day 14
Day 66

Future Improvements and Final Thoughts

Based on the observations made throughout the course of this project, the Coil Reef  is capable of supporting growth. While the growth on the coil over the course of this project was limited to various algaes, it represents the primary succession of organisms into an initially barren habitat. Over time, other organisms will arrive, grow, and develop, leading to an increase in biodiversity.

For future projects involving Coil Reef, more methods of measurement should be used to quantitatively measure the amount of biodiversity as well as total biomass present on the reef. It may also be necessary to develop an additional method to observe the coil from the outside diameter, should the inside of the coil become congested with growth. 

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