The Coral City Camera is an underwater camera fixed to one spot and live streams from an urban reef in Miami, Florida. The backdrop is one of boulders with a couple of Pseudodiploria strigosa Brain corals, some sponges, and an Acropora cervicornis frag, but what this urban PortMiami shoreline scene lacks in the pristine reef, it more than makes up for in fish species sightings, and we find it strangely addictive.
Because the camera is fixed, and live, you literally never know what fish you are going to see next, from parrotfish and other wrasses, butterflyfish, damsels, surgeonfish, pufferfish, and snappers to angelfish. It’s like the underwater version of bird-watching, and you looking out of a hide.
The Coral City Camera was deployed by Coral Morphologic in 2019 as a hybrid art-science research project produced with Bridge Initiative and Bas Fisher Invitational and initially funded through grants awarded by a Knight Arts Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Its deliberate placement in an urban marine ecosystem and human-made shorelines of Miami is designed to highlight the huge diversity of marine life just 10’ under the surface with the aim of engaging the public to protect what they know and love. The riprap boulder shoreline along Port Miami demonstrates that human infrastructure can offer imperiled species refuge and functional habitat in unexpected urban locations and serve as conveniently accessible research sites.
The next time you have a spare ten minutes, click on the Coral City Camera to catch up on what’s going on under the waves and if you spot a Queen Angel it will make your day.