We are proud to have filmed the corals of the Miami Coral Rescue Mission for a new BBC/ National Geographic three-episode series on the Atlantic Ocean titled Atlantic: The Wildest Ocean on Earth. Watch the Coral Morphologic-shot coral fluorescence sequence below, which features in the series’ third episode, ‘From Heaven to Hell‘, airing August 13th on BBC Two in the UK. Additionally, read an article via BBC Earth detailing the unique adaptive qualities exhibited by Miami’s urban corals.
Posts Tagged ‘Miami Coral Rescue Mission’
A fluorescence photograph of the hybrid fused staghorn coral.
It was the discovery of a hybrid fused staghorn coral living on a granite boulder beneath the shadows of a luxury condo that initially sparked our interest in the resilient corals that are taking advantage of Miami’s underwater infrastructure. Colin first presented this coral to the public for TEDxMIA in 2011 in a talk titled ‘A Hybrid Future – The Corals of Miami’. But with the Army Corps’ Deep Dredge of Government Cut happening just a stones throw from where this coral lives, we have been particularly concerned about the health of this coral. Not only are Miami’s corals being inundated with excessive dredge silt, they’re also dealing with the same water conditions that have induced an alarming percentage of corals to bleach across South Florida’s reefs.
A hyper-fluorescent juvenile Montastrea cavernosa rescued from Government Cut
After months of impatiently watching dredge ships working offshore Miami, Coral Morphologic and other researchers were finally granted a brief window of opportunity from May 26 until June 6th in which to rescue corals left behind from the legally-required relocation effort from the Army Corps of Engineers’ Deep Dredge of Government Cut. This was a much shorter length of time than we had been prepared for, and as such, we had to respond with considerable urgency in order to rescue as many corals as possible. Fortunately we had begun our detailed preparations in January 2014 by coordinating students and professors from the University of Miami to help in the effort. Collectively, the Miami Coral Rescue Mission removed over 2,000 stony corals that would have otherwise been destroyed in the process to make way for the larger ships that will pass through the soon-to-be-expanded Panama Canal.
The majority of the corals that Coral Morphologic removed from Government Cut have now been transplanted to an artificial reef about one mile south from where they originated, and where we will continue to monitor them to ensure their long-term survival. Some corals will be sent to the Smithsonian Institution for research. And the rest of the corals were brought back to our Lab, where we will document them via film and photography for a body of work titled ‘Coral City’, in which we will present them as fluorescent icons for a 21st century Miami.
While we could have rescued more corals with an extended deadline, the Miami Coral Rescue Mission is not over. It is now entering a longer-term monitoring phase in which we will continue to assess the health of surrounding coral reefs through July 2015, when the Deep Dredge project is finally slated for completion.
Seen above is a fluorescence photograph of an ultra rare hybrid staghorn coral (Acropora prolifera) living in Miami’s Government Cut waterway. Colin first introduced this coral to the world at TEDxMIA in 2011. Now the Army Corps of Engineers’ “Deep Dredge” project to expand Miami’s port capabilities will necessitate the evacuation of this and thousands of other corals before their habitat is dynamited. It is Coral Morphologic’s mission to rescue them. Find out more 7:30pm Tuesday January 21st 2014 at the University of Miami Cox Science Building Room 145.