Biologist Racing to Rescue Coral

Thursday, Jun 5, 2014  |  Updated 6:48 PM EDT
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A coral biologist is scrambling to finish his project to rescue corals in Government Cut before June 7th when deep port dredging will destroy the remaining coral. NBC 6's Hank Tester reports.

A coral biologist is scrambling to finish his project to rescue corals in Government Cut before June 7th when deep port dredging will destroy the remaining coral. NBC 6's Hank Tester reports.

A coral biologist is scrambling to finish his project to rescue corals in Government Cut before June 7th when deep port dredging will destroy the remaining coral.

Dr. Andrew Baker undertook the project to learn more about the coral living in Government Cut.

“Right here in Miami’s backyard is a pretty healthy reef environment that is full of organisms that are pretty well adapted to the environment,” Dr. Baker said.

The adaptive capabilities of the coral are what Dr. Baker is focusing his research on. The coral lives in a major shipping channel that is being deep dredged to handle massive new shipping containers heading for PortMiami.

The coral Dr. Baker is moving has thrived in the severely challenged underwater environment. Dr. Baker believes those coral may hold the answer to future coral survival.

“They are very interesting from a research point of view because they are living in such a turbid disturbed area. Many of these corals have adapted to a harsh environment,” Dr. Baker said.

Dr. Baker’s permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers runs out in just two days. Dr. Baker said he needs all the coral he can get his hands on to determine how the coral adapted.

“Whether these corals have those characteristics is what we want to find out right now,” Dr. Baker said.

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