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St. Paul senior plans to be marine biologist

By LINDSAY SCHAFFER • Jul 16, 2018 at 7:00 PM

St. Paul High School senior Jasmine Cervantes comes to school every day during her summer break to work on her senior project, helping to care for the marine life in the marine biology lab.

“I chose this as my senior project because I want to be a marine biologist. Billions of pieces of plastic are polluting our oceans and killing the coral reefs,” she said.

Cervantes is learning how to fragment existing coral to propagate new colonies, thanks to the professional advice of Scott Lee. She carefully cuts off a piece of healthy coral and attaches it to a live rock with a rubber band.

“Eventually the piece of coral adheres to the rock and will grow,” said Cervantes, the daughter of Everardo and Candace, of Norwalk.

By fragmenting and propagating coral, reefs can be healed and restored.

Cervantes said she plans to sell the new pieces of coral to raise the needed funds for the maintenance, food and upkeep of the lab. She will do all this while gaining knowledge and experience that will help her in her college endeavors and beyond to become a marine biologist.

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