Reef restoration

“Scientists try to save coral micro species”
U.S. scientists have launched a project in Puerto Rico designed to save threatened microscopic species. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo recently acquired 12,000 microscopic Elkhorn coral larvae harvested by zoo scientists as part of an international collaborative program to save the species. The researchers hope to return the animals, once they are grown, to their wild ocean habitat.

Zoo reproductive scientist Mary Hagedorn and invertebrate keeper Mike Henley traveled to Puerto Rico last month with to collect and artificially inseminate coral. Hagedorn is pioneering the cyropreservation of coral sperm and eggs, trying to create a genome resource bank that will help preserve the genetic diversity of coral.

“More subway cars slated for reefs”
More than 1,600 old New York City subway cars are destined for the deep where they will make up new artificial reefs off the Atlantic Coast. The MTA this week approved a $6.3 million contract to farm out the aging cars to reef projects off New Jersey, Delaware and other states, Newsday reported Saturday.

Officials say the cavernous cars that once hauled scores of Big Apple strap-hangers provide excellent shelter for young fish and also will make a great destination for recreational divers. The Long Island newspaper said some environmentalists are concerned about asbestos in some of the older cars despite a New Jersey study that concluded this week that cars used to create earlier reefs had minimal environmental impact.

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