At the moment it seems like there is just one horrible piece of news after another. Sometimes you need a little escape, even if you're still technically sitting at your desk. This gorgeous live stream of the urban coral reef in Miami has a host of colorful critters and corals that will whisk you away, if just for a short while.
Coral Morphologic was founded in 2007 by marine biologist Colin Foord and musician J.D McKay in Miami, Florida. Originally a way to combine their love for the marine world with art and inspire the general public to want to restore the Miami reef, the project has evolved during the last few years, giving people a window to an underwater world, and providing much-needed escapism, especially during the pandemic.
A key part of their project is the Coral City Camera, an underwater camera live stream that operates 24/7 from an urban reef in Miami. Despite its location, one of Miami’s busiest shipping channels, viewers have become captivated by regular appearances from a cast of charismatic creatures that make the coral their home. Since February 2020 over 100 different species have been observed, but the star of the show is undoubtedly Oval, a doctorfish missing a piece of her tail.
As well Oval, a whole host of marine creatures can be seen from manatees to turtles, rays, dolphins, and sharks. Their Instagram and Twitter page posts regular updates on the inhabitants of the coral reef, from Lisa the lemon shark to the "angry swimming bag", the trunkfish.
Coral reefs are one of Earth’s most diverse habitats, and it is estimated that around 25 percent of all marine species live in and around these areas. Reefs are vitally important not just for the marine species that they support. They can provide protection from storm events, generate economic wealth with marine tourism and even provide molecules to fight cancer.
However, these precious areas are under threat from climate change. More and more reefs are undergoing bleaching events, caused by acidification of the ocean and warmer sea temperatures.
Coral Morphologic is currently working with scientists and researchers from the NOAA and the University of Miami’s ACCRETE lab to understand more about how these corals and animals are continuing to thrive in this area. The Coral City Camera aims to generate awareness of Miami’s remarkable biodiversity inspiring thousands of people to protect these vital environments.