Coral reefs are a vital resource. They protect coastlines from erosion and storm surge. Corals provide a habitat for a huge variety of marine life. Perhaps most importantly, coral reefs support healthy ocean systems which provide 70% of the world’s oxygen.
But coral reefs are under threat. Register for the upcoming Social Night on Friday, April 28 to find out how a local non-profit, The Reef Institute, is hard at work Reviving the Reef. Then, go diving with a coral reef expert on Saturday, April 29!
FLORIDA’S CORAL REEFS
Florida’s coral reefs span from the Dry Tortugas at the southern tip of the Florida Keys hundreds of miles north to Port St. Lucie. This reef system runs parallel to Palm Beach County. Corals even grow in intracoastal waters at the Blue Heron Bridge and Peanut Island!
As divers, we have seen firsthand how so many ocean species rely on coral reefs. Unfortunately, we also have a front row seat to the threats facing these underwater ecosystems.
The world’s coral reefs are under attack from rising water temperatures and increased ocean acidification caused by climate change. You may have even noticed the damaging effects of coral bleaching during your dives.
In 2014, yet another threat to Florida’s coral reefs reared its head. Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease, or SCTLD, was first detected off the coast of Virginia Key. Since then, it has damaged more than 30 different species of stony corals.
These hard corals, including brain and star corals, are the slow-growing building blocks of coral reef systems.
Once the disease enters even a single coral polyp, it takes no more than months or even weeks for ancient corals to be gone forever.
THE SOLUTION: REVIVING THE REEF
The important efforts underway at The Reef Institute are helping Florida’s Reef Tract, the largest coral reef ecosystem in the continental U.S., recover.
Learn from Leneita Fix, Executive Director of The Reef Institute. Find out how their researchers have successfully facilitated coral spawning. Dive into their efforts to grow baby corals on site, and out-plant and monitor hard corals offshore of the Palm Beaches. Understand how you can act as a coral reef advocate, and take action to protect corals on a global scale.
We can’t wait to see you soon at the next social night! If you have questions, or need help registering for the event or booking your seat to dive with a coral expert, contact our reservations team at email@example.com or call 561-840-8750.