Scientists from the University of Miami have managed to plant 25,000 corals in the waters of Florida and the Caribbean
In the waters of South Florida you can find curious structures made of plastic tubes with pieces of coral tied to them. They are small underwater trees with which scientists and students from the University of Miami try to repopulate marine reefs, threatened by pollution and global warming.
The project of the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric and Earth Sciences consists of diving and collecting healthy coral donors. Later, these pieces are taken to the terrestrial reserves where other variants are fertilized. The samples are hung on the ‘trees’, where they grow and are preserved. They are also regularly pruned to encourage regeneration.
The final pieces are glued to the underwater floor with a special concrete mix. Some are unique designs that seek to protect coastal bases from hurricane damage, in addition to repopulating the natural ecosystem. So far, with this system, 25,000 corals have been planted in the waters of Florida and the Caribbean.
The process discoveries could be harnessed in the future to produce corals that are more resistant to global warming or grow rapidly. Currently, corals reproduce on a handful of nights a year, simultaneously emitting eggs and sperm into a column of water to achieve fertilization.