coral

Scientists with Mote Marine Laboratory will begin a yearlong effort this summer to restore about 25,000 corals in the Florida Keys.  State lawmakers approved a $500,000 appropriation for the project in this year’s state legislative session.

Most of the news and research these days about coral reefs is pretty grim — massive losses from bleaching, everywhere from Australia to the Florida Keys. Some parts of Florida and the Caribbean have lost more than half of the living coral off their reefs in the last three decades.

But there is some good news on the coral research front and this week saw a major milestone in those efforts, when Mote Marine Laboratory opened its new $7 million center in the Keys.

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Researchers say a widespread disease outbreak continues to afflict corals off the Upper Florida Keys.

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A recent study authored by scientists from the National Marine Fisheries Service and the University of Miami says dredging at PortMiami is killing far more coral than the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers predicted.

The dispersant used to clean up the BP oil spill is “very toxic” to coral, according to a study by Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.