Chicago’s own underwater wild reef is a stone’s throw from Lake Shore Drive

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Shedd Aquarium is doing research off the coast of Hyde Park. (Shedd Aquarium / DNAinfo)

CHICAGO — The least understood part about Chicago is underwater, but a group of Shedd Aquarium researchers hope to change that.

Since last fall, a small team of explorers has ventured off the shore of Hyde Park to Morgan Shoal, a rocky outcrop in Lake Michigan that holds the sunken ship Silver Spray, lots of fish and some really hard-to-find creatures. It’s as close to a wild coral reef habitat that the city has.

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“There’s so much going on beneath the waves that we don’t understand and we don’t appreciate,” said Philip Willink, Senior Research Biologist at Shedd Aquarium.

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