MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Healthy corals that were around PortMiami have been relocated as dredging continues.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says a project to deepen two channels approaching the port is about 35 percent complete. Dredging is expected to finish in July 2015.

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Corps officials say about 10 acres of artificial reefs are being constructed from dredged material. Divers have been harvesting corals from the channels’ edges and relocating them to the artificial reef and other nearby areas.

About a thousand corals have been relocated so far.

Coral fragments also are being collected in a nursery at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Corps officials say they’re encouraged by the health and growth of the transplanted corals.

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The port is expanding to accommodate bigger ships passing through a wider Panama Canal.

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