Published: Jun 02, 2014 5:27 AM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - Corals are being collected from a shipping channel off Miami to save them from being destroyed while the port expands to accommodate much bigger ships that soon will pass through a widened Panama Canal.
    
Divers with Miami-based Coral Morphologic are recovering the corals through June 6 and 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.
    
___
    
Online:
    
Coral Morphologic: http://www.coralmorphologic.com

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)