Australia hopes artificial reefs will revitalize the ocean

Build it, and they will come. That’s not just a line from Field of Dreams. It’s also a real lesson coming out of Australia, where an innovative experiment to create artificial reefs has attracted 50 fish species to waters that just a few years ago only saw 12.

Artificial reefs are nothing new, but most previous efforts to build them were extremely low-tech. Government agencies dropped piles of old tires or cement blocks on the ocean floor—or sank old boats and military vessels—in the hope that they would create habitats for fish and other marine life.

The experiment in the state of Western Australia is a bit different. As coral reefs fall victim to climate change, an innovative design for fake ones is attracting scores of marine species.

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