Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Underwater Things

This almost looks like the real thing doesn't it? A sea fan, tube coral and some other organisms, names now forgotten. This is not a bad rendition at all especially since it's all crochet!

I've mentioned before that I used to scuba dive when I lived in South Florida so I've been up close and personal with these corals. I found this crochet art at Crocheting the Coral Reef.

When I lived in Florida the reefs were in danger and that was 21 years ago. Lots of boaters were anchoring onto the reef. Of course that's illegal. The reef is a living thing, you can't scar it with metal hooks. Coral disease and bleaching are problems too and reefs being replaced with turf algae. The future is bleak. There are conservation efforts underway however. Hopefully we will see a resurgence of these beautiful areas that are not only living organisms themselves but homes to many fish species.

I took part in a conservation effort to replace lost reef habitat with artificial reefs. Our diving club prepared an old vessel for sinking by filling it with lots of sand bags and poking it full of holes. That was hard work on a sunny summer Florida day. The coast guard then towed it out and blew it up so it would sink, while we hung back in our boats and watched. After the water settled we dove down to check it out. A few months later we went back to see what fish had taken up residence. We also sunk a Teneco oil platform for use as a reef. Each level of the three level platform was handy for underwater sitting.

This is me swimming to a wreck we discovered one day when we were just casually diving. I wore the t-shirt not because it was cold, because the water was about 84 degrees that day, but for protection against stinging fire coral.

Related Reading: Reef Coral Identification