Local teen helping save coral reefs

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Hundreds of thousands of kids head to Florida during their summer break. But not many are spending their time down there to do some community service – at the bottom of the ocean.

Ryan Hawk is a sophomore at Bishop Hartley High School. He is a soccer player, a football kicker and also a certified scuba diver.

“It’s a lot of fun. When you go down to the bottom of the pool. Kind of like that. You have time to be down there and explore what it is,” said Hawk.

Two weeks ago, Ryan along with others traveled to Pompano Beach, Florida not to soak in the sun, but to help save the coral reef after two years of strong hurricanes in the area.

“Hurricanes are not a lot of force under the water but it wiped out the whole reef there. If you kick it with your fin, it will just snap and break and it’s dead so it’s really fragile,” said Hawk.

With that in mind, Ryan and his team went to work, building a jungle gym and placing it at the bottom of the ocean. The coral will hopefully grow in the crevices in the next couple of months, and bring the reef back to what it should look like: colorful and lively.

“When we went down, there was no color. No fish. There’s nothing. Not any life. So when we go back down, we are hoping there is more color, more fish, and more coral. It shouldn’t be fully grown but should be a big improvement,” said Hawk.

Ryan and the team will head back to Florida sometime next year to check up on the progress of the coral.

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