Australia’s iconic Opera House to become new home for artificial reef

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SYDNEY, Aug 22 (APP/Xinhua): In an attempt to restore the delicate
ecosystem in the iconic Sydney Harbour, a joint collaboration was announced on Tuesday that will see an artificial reef being installed adjacent to the world-famous Opera House.
The collaboration between the New South Wales (NSW) government and the
University of Technology Sydney (UTS) will result in a reef being placed in the harbor, as part of an ongoing analysis of methods to improve biodiversity, and ensure the survival of native species.
The NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said in a statement obtained by Xinhua that she is excited about the partnership that will see the government work hand-in-hand with ecologists to deliver the ambitious project.
“This trial is an important project because research shows seawalls and
other man-made structures tend to attract less marine life and native species than natural harbour shores,” Upton said.
The lead ecologist on the project, David Booth, a professor of marine
ecology at UTS, said more than 50 percent of the shoreline of Sydney’s harbor has been replaced with seawalls in order to ensure that erosion, and storms, do not cause damage, and the reef might help restore some of what has been lost due to the preventative measures.
“We believe that new initiatives, such as the artificial reef that will be trialled at the Opera House, could help restore natural marine habitats and rebalance biodiversity around the harbour.” Booth said.
The artificial reef is expected to be set up at the Opera House in early 2018.