Aquarium's new Cuban connection could help save reefs

Lloyd Sowers reports

- A tour of the Florida Aquarium gets even more interesting when it includes three scientists from Cuba's National Aquarium. It's part of a historic collaboration.

"For the Florida Aquarium, having a sister aquarium in Cuba has opened up a world we didn't even know existed," offered Margo McKnight, who leads the effort for the Florida Aquarium.

The visiting Cuban scientists are interested in our aquarium's technology, such as the life support systems that keep sea creatures here thriving. In return, scientists  here travel to Cuba to study their pristine coral reefs.

"It was as if I dove into a movie set. It was just full of life," McKnight said, describing her dive on a Cuban reef. "We're looking at those reefs as a models of what we can have restoring ours."

Scientists from the Florida Aquarium will take their Cuban counterparts to Key Largo later this week to study Florida's coral reef.

The Florida Aquarium team is involved in research into  coral spawning, which could lead to new ways to restore damaged reefs.

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