For many years, Wolf Hilbertz, a German Architect and an inspiring pioneer of new technologies in architecture and marine habitat restoration, and Dr. Tom Goreau, marine biologist, both inventors of the remarkable Biorock technology systematically designed to sustainably restore coral reefs around the world worked tirelessly through the United Nations of implementing this technology in various parts of the world where there were dying or non-existent coral reefs resulting from industrial and human pollution in the natural marine environments. Just as a side note, coral reefs are an essential and necessary component to the maintenance of coastlines. In fact, where there are damaged or well nigh non-existent coral reefs, sea levels begin to rise which carries the inevitable consequences of coastal damages. The first signs of global warming are exhibited among coral reefs.
Dr. Goreau holds patents with Wolf Hilbertz for new methods for preserving coral reefs from global warming and pollution, restoring marine ecosystems, shore protection, mariculture, and non-toxic methods of preserving wood from marine boring organisms, termites, rot, and fire, in order to increase the lifetime of wood and decrease logging. In 1998 he and Wolf Hilbertz were awarded the Theodore M. Sperry Award for Pioneers and Innovators, the top award of the Society for Ecological Restoration.
On August 11, 2007, Wolf Hilbertz left the body after struggling for so many days in a German hospital from serious health complications after cancer had ravished his body. He was a man who dedicated his life to environmental sustainability with the understanding that it was ultimately an act of devotion to our dear Mother Earth. For it was all about saving people’s lives by saving the environment. The great Danish philosopher Kierkegaard once asked the rhetorical question, “What would cause a man to risk his own life in order to save another?” The resounding response was that “there is the metaphysical realization that the two lives are one.” This was truly the keynote principle that oriented the life of this great man. Upon notice of his death, Dr. Goreau echoed the tragic loss we all felt in his solemn words, “I'm heartbroken to hear this tragic news. You can be sure that we will do all we can to ensure that the legacy of his pioneering work in the oceans will never be forgotten.” Wolf is not only a serious loss to the marine world of scientists but to the world at large.
It is my understanding that all the family, friends, and working colleagues have all joined together in a concerted effort to dedicate a monument on behalf of Wolf Hilbertz in memory of him and his work. (See http://www.aseanaffairs.com/store/1772737/page/1249383) Additionally, efforts will continue to keep his legacy alive, something he would want, for future generations to benefit from. Now our beloved Dr. Tom Goreau bears that torch as others gather cooperatively with him in order to keep that legacy alive. In fact, Tom, as those of us close to him like to refer to him, putting aside formalities, has been working with dedicated vigor in New York City in an effort to “revive the area’s withered ecosystem and gradually restore to this wetland the oyster beds that once flourished in New York's waters.” (Excerpt from, A Taste of History, Poised For Revival, The New York Times, Gregory Beyer, July 22, 2007) You can learn more about this remarkable NYC marine project by visiting http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/nyregion/thecity/22oyst.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
(Dr. Tom Goreau, as a keynote speaker of the Blue Salon Environmental Conference in Washington, D.C. gives his presentation on coral reef restoration)
Tom, those of us who know you salute you with the deepest respect, admiration, and continued support. We exclaim in unison with the poetic declaration of the Jamaican Rastaman, “Jah love”!...knowing full well you can appreciate this as a native Jamaican. Learn more about the nature and character of the remarkable Biorock technology together with up to date news on Dr. Goreau's efforts around the world by visiting http://www.globalcoral.org/.