MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Divers are collecting corals from a shipping channel off PortMiami in an effort to save them.

Plans call for the channel to be deepened to accommodate much bigger ships that soon will pass through a widened Panama Canal.

Divers, who are with the Miami-based Coral Morphologic, are transplanting them in an aquaculture lab.

Marine biologist Colin Foord says some of the corals are rare in South Florida waters and should be preserved for future research and reef restoration projects.

Once dredging is complete, the channel will be 8 feet deeper. Its limestone walls will likely become home to similar communities of coral and other marine life.

In the meantime, Coral Morphologic will use the transplanted corals in scientific, educational and artistic projects.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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