It will be a seven-mile park open to the public but is also set up to provide a home for reef organisms. The first phase is all set to open n December 2021.
Art enthusiasts will now have a new and exciting adventure to look forward to. Art exhibits on land will no longer be as appealing as those that can be seen underwater. The new sculpture park called ReefLine will be underwater and is coming to Miami Beach. It is where science and art collide to not only entertain but conserve the aquatic ecosystem as well. The project is the brainchild of Ximena Caminos of BlueLab Preservation Society who founded ReefLine when she learned that artificial reefs could be deposited in the waters to help replenish the coral population, according to CNN.
Caminos said, "I thought, 'What if we created a reef designed by artists?' I've always been interested in how we can combine art and science to address issues of sustainability." Visitors will be able to look at the submerged sculptures with the help of snorkeling gear and taking a dive into the ocean off the coast of Miami. It will be a seven-mile underwater public sculpture park with a snorkeling trail. It will open up in phases, with the first stretch opening in December 2021. In addition to human visitors, it is mainly set up to provide a home for reef organisms.
"This series of artist-designed and scientist-informed artificial reefs will demonstrate to the world how tourism, artistic expression, and the creation of critical habitat can be aligned," Caminos stated on the ReefLine website. "The ReefLine is a singular investment in civic infrastructure, public art, and environmental protection that will pay dividends over the coming decades and attract ecologically-minded tourists and art lovers." The project is a collaboration of marine biologists, researchers, architects, and coastal engineers from Coral Morphologic, the BlueLab Preservation Society, and the University of Miami to help in the conservation of coral reefs.
Coral bleaching has been happening since the 1980s and has been discovered as an effect of global warming. An estimated 4,000 fish species, and some 25 percent of marine life, depend on coral reefs at some point in their existence, reported National Geographic. The corals are bleaching at an alarming rate but the only sign of hope is that they can be regrown. That is what this art project is trying to do. "The deployment of new artificial reef substrate and sculptures over this now-sandy bottom will serve to restore this once vibrant habitat," the website stated.
"The ReefLine is an investment that will quickly pay for itself by highlighting the fact that Miami is the only US city bordered by two National Parks, and has a unique marine environment just a stone’s throw away from its world-renowned beaches," read the website. "Such an amenity will help attract a new demographic of environmentally-conscious travelers, while also demonstrating that Miami Beach is the most environmentally-aware art city in the world. The ReefLine will serve as a living monument to the current era of sea-level rise and the need for rapid adaptation in a warming climate." It aims to bring more life into the already lively art scene in Miami.
Art created for the purpose of bringing attention to the issue of global warming is becoming popular. In 2019, conservationist and underwater sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor installed the responsive sculpture, named "Ocean Siren," off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The statue consists of a girl modeled after Takoda Johnson, a young indigenous girl from the Wulgurukaba tribe who is holding a Bayliss shell, a traditional indigenous communication device, to indicate that she is acting as a warning signal when the temperature of the ocean warms. The statue changes color as ocean water temperatures fluctuate.