Nature has inspired art and artists from time immemorial and from next year people will be able to see beautiful work right into the ocean floor. ReefLine, an underwater public sculpture park, will be designing to serve as a vibrant artificial reef for Miami Beach visitors. The park will open its first permanent installations in December 2021.
However, the ambitious project will only complete the first mile by 2021. Eventually the public art project will run seven miles long, similar to experience of traveling Manhattan’s High Line, but with snorkel fins. The project is the brainchild of Ximena Caminos of BlueLab Preservation Society who realised that artificial reefs could be deposited in the waters of South Beach to aid in replenishing its coral population.
Speaking to CNN, Caminos said that she wondered what if her organization created a reef designed by artists. The idea stemmed from Caminos interest in combining art and science to address issues of sustainability.
The underwater park will be an exciting visit for those who have an interest in marine life. It will also provide a habitat for reef organisms who face the danger of extinction if the world’s coral ecosystems continue to die out. The warming of ocean temperatures due to climate change has affected the coral reefs around the world. Coral reef colonies promote biodiversity, and are also essential for a quarter of the ocean’s fish who depend on them to survive, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).
Disease and bleaching have been widely attributed to the warming waters that have in turn killed off the coral population in South Florida, at an unprecedented rate. The problem is not just in South Florida, a recent study found that the largest coral reef system in the world, the Great Barrier Reef, has lost 50 percent of its coral life since 1995.
The ReefLine project wishes to replenish the coral population at Florida’s coastline by offering a new home for new organisms to flourish. The park will consist of concrete, modular units, with site-specific art installations. The park will be along the length of South Beach to the north. Shohei Shigematsu of the architecture firm OMA will be designing the marine park in collaboration with a team of marine biologists, researchers and coastal engineers.