Mesophotic Corals
Audubon Aquarium
New Orleans, LA

Audubon Nature Institute, in partnership with NOAA, will be housing three species of coral from the Mesophotic Zone of the Gulf of Mexico that NOAA scientists are trying to propagate in a lab setting and then restore on the floor of the Gulf.

Deep Dive into the Gulf will explain the effects of the Deep Horizon oil rig explosion on these corals that live at depths and under environmental conditions unknown until recently. This Mesophotic Zone ranges approximately 100 to 500 feet below the surface, in the “middle light” zone that exists between sunlit shallow waters and deepest, midnight-black waters.

Audubon Aquarium’s new coral exhibit will feature a transparent wall displaying the oil rig above the mountainous terrain at the bottom of the Gulf, an aquarium tank housing live corals, a Dive Deeper interactive computer video game, a decorative mural of coral and fish, a moveable 3D bathymetric model of the Mississippi Canyon, and specially lighting.