People do not know what they are missing under the surface of a busy ship’s canal in the “cruise capital of the world”. Just below the keels of massive ships, an underwater camera provides a live broadcast from another world, showing marine life struggling to withstand global warming.
This camera at Government Cut in Miami is just one of many endeavors by a marine biologist and musician who have been on a 15-year mission to raise awareness of dying coral reefs by combining science and art to bring underwater life to pop culture. .
Their company –Coral morphological—Covers stunning images, puts gorgeous close-ups of underwater creatures on social media, posts video with expired swinging time, glowing corals of music and projects it on buildings, even sells a coral-themed beachwear line.
“We are not all art. We are not all science. We are not all technologies. We are alchemists, “said Colin Ford, who opposes the appearance of a typical scientist with blue hair so rosy that it looks electrically charged. He and his business partner JD McKay sat down with The Associated Press to show off their work.
One of their most popular projects is Coral City Camerawhich recently surpassed 2 million views and usually has about 100 viewers online at any given time each day.
“In fact, we will be able to document a year of coral growth that has never been done on a coral reef site before, and that’s only possible because we have this technological connection right here in the port of Miami that allows us power and the Internet.” said Ford.
The live stream has already revealed that deer antlers and other corals can adapt and thrive even in highly urbanized underwater environments, along with 177 species of fish, dolphins, manatees and other marine life, Fourd said.
“These very resistant corals grow here. “The main goal of taking them underwater was to show people that there is so much marine life right here in our city,” Fourd said.
McKay, meanwhile, sounds like a Broadway producer as he describes how he shoots creatures in their Miami lab, growing corals in tanks to prepare them for close-ups in gorgeous color.
“We basically create a set with one of these aquariums and then obviously there are actors – corals or shrimp or whatever – and then we shoot it and then I get a vibration, whatever happens on stage, and then I record it on a soundtrack with some atmospheric sounds, something very oceanic, “McKay explained.
Their latest production ” Coral City Flourotour, “will be displayed on Wallscape New World Center this week, as the Aspen Institute hosts a major climate conference in Miami Beach. Ford spoke at a panel on how the ocean’s natural systems can help people learn to deal with the effects of climate change. The title of the conversation? “The ocean is a superhero.”
“I think that when we can recognize that we are all one family in life and everything is interconnected, we hope that we can make significant changes now so that future generations do not have to live in a world of forest fires and melted ice caps and dead oceans, “Ford told the AP.
Their mission is urgent: after 500 million years on Earth, these species are under attack from climate change. Warming oceans cause coral bleaching and increase the risk of infectious diseases that can cause massive coral deaths, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Stronger storms and changes in aquatic chemistry can destroy reef structures, while altered currents sweep away food and larvae.
“Climate change is the biggest global threat to coral reef ecosystems.” NOAA said in a recent report.
This refers to the second part of the name Coral Morphologic. “What does it mean to be morphological?” It really means you have to adapt, because the environment is always changing, “said Ford.
Deer antler coral, elkhorn horn and brain cut coral living in Government Cut provide a real example of how coral communities can adapt to things like rising heat and polluted runoff, even in an unlikely environment such as the port of Miami. Their video documented fluorescence in some of the corals, an unusual response in offshore waters that Ford said could protect them from the sun.
“The harbor is an invaluable place to explore coral,” Ford said. “We have to be realistic. You will not be able to return ecosystems to the way they were 200 years ago. The options we have left are more radical.”
Beyond science, there is the clothes. Coral Morphologic sells a line of surf and swimsuits that takes designs from colored anemones and brain corals and uses environmentally sustainable materials such as nylon recycled from old fishing nets.
“We see the power of technology that connects people to nature. “We’re lucky as artists, and corals are good,” said Ford.
Protecting coral reef connectivity has been found to be crucial for conservation efforts.
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