New Biodegradable Straws Could Save Coral Reefs?!

( – South Florida researchers have spent a lot of their time trying to figure out a way to keep coral reefs from dying and ways to restore them. One new way that they may be able to do this is by using biodegradable straws which will aid in the restoration of the coral reefs.

Scientists have been looking into this for years in order to find a way to save these coral reefs and address their decline. Some ways that they’ve been working towards this is by helping to save the corals from rising ocean temperatures, and they’ve also been lab-growing corals to stick back into the ocean to grow the coral population.

One problem that scientists are running into is preventing these newly placed corals from becoming fish food. These transplanted corals have less than a forty percent chance of survival because of the amount that gets eaten by other fish.

Kyle Pisano and Kirk Dotson are marine researchers who have developed something that they call a “coral fort” which resembles a biodegradable cage that would protect coral and give them an over ninety percent survival rate.

Says Pisano, “Parrot fish on the reef really, really enjoy biting a newly transplanted coral…They treat it kind of like popcorn.”

Fish typically will leave the coral alone as it ages, but they have been searching for something to protect it in the meantime. They have used other options like PVC pipes to create a barrier but those hold algae and they need to be removed from the ocean eventually.

The biodegradable straws eventually will break down like anything else and won’t hold algae that needs to be cleaned regularly. After experiments from the scientists, this became the newest option to try and protect those transferred corals in the ocean.

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