You've heard of bird baths and dog kennels, but did you know there was such a thing as a seahorse hotel?
The new idea is one of many methods research scientist Dave Harasti has been using at the Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park to help stop the decline in the region's seahorse population.
"They're iconic and amazing - they're the only animal in the world where the male gives birth and that completely fascinates me," he said.
In November, the white seahorse became the first endangered seahorse in Australia, and the second in the world. Dr Harasti said habitat loss was a major factor in the population decline.
"It's a little bit depressing seeing the decline that I've seen," he said.
Dr Harasti said there had been a lot of sand movement in Port Stephens and that that can crush the seahorses' natural habitat of sponges and soft corals.
However, despite the reality of disappointing decline, Dr Harasti is finding new ways to help the seahorses and fuel his hope.
One day on a dive in the region, he noticed an old lobster trap in the water covered in sea sponges.
On further inspection, he saw a couple of seahorses enjoying the habitat that had grown on the rejected metal.
This discovery led to the creation of artificial seahorse hotels in 2017, which has given the little fish a chance to grow in number all over the world.
While he has helped many seahorses over the years, one of particular significance to him is Dawn - a gold seahorse who, at nearly 7 years of age and almost 15cm tall, happens to be the oldest known living seahorse in the world. Like a number of other seahorses in the region, she has now moved to live in one of the Port Stephens seahorse hotels.
Dr Harasti's main goal is to try to protect the seahorses' natural habitat and, in areas where they have been lost, replace them with things like seahorse hotels to help them repopulate.
He said there were things the general public could do to help ensure the future of seahorses in Australia.
From taking caution when lowering boat anchors to picking up discarding rubbish on the beach, each little action can make a difference.
"Plastics don't break down and they are mixed up with all the habitat," he said.
"l don't want to see more species listed as threatened ... I want to reverse the decline. We don't want species going backwards and the way we can do that is to look after and conserve their habitat. If we can look after and protect what we've got right now, and have no more decline in corals, the seahorses will be fine.
"I want them to become more abundant like they used to be."
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here