coral reefs

It's been more than 20 years since the last comprehensive plan to manage the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

In a gravel parking lot on Virginia Key crowded with shade tanks used for raising fish, coral researchers have a new project underway: a Noah's Ark for disappearing coral.

Five years ago, a new coral disease was found right off downtown Miami. It has now spread through the Florida reef tract, from Martin County down past Key West. In response, scientists are taking unprecedented measures to make sure some coral survives, at least in captivity.

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Officials in Key West took the initial steps toward banning the sale of sunscreens containing two ingredients that could be harmful to coral reefs.

Over the summer, Hawaii became the first place in the United States to ban sunscreens with chemicals that have been found to harm corals. Now Key West is considering a similar ban. And a group opposing the ban is fighting back — online.

If you're in Key West and open a video on YouTube, there's a new ad on heavy rotation.

Time is running out to save the world’s coral reefs from irreversible damage, according to numerous studies

For the last couple of years, scientists and divers in South Florida have been watching as a new disease has been spreading along Florida reefs. It's a water-borne pathogen that kills stony corals — the big ones that serve as the foundation for reefs.

Scientists don't know what caused the outbreak. They do know that the number of different kinds of corals it attacks — and the rate they’re dying from it — is unprecedented. But so is the response.

It's a good idea to protect your skin with sunscreen when you're out on the water.

But protecting reefs means giving up some of the most common sunscreens that can harm corals. Studies have found that some ingredients, especially oxybenzone and octinoxate, are harmful even in very small quantities.

They call themselves the coral whisperers: a global band of scientists working together to save the world's coral reefs.

The captain of a charter boat carrying government scientists on an environmental research cruise near the Keys has been cited for violating environmental regulations.

Hurricanes and warming ocean waters have led to damage in Florida’s coral reefs. Now experts say the state’s corals are facing a new danger—an especially pervasive bacteria.

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The superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary says that after efforts to help the coral reef recover from Hurricane Irma, challenges loom for the marine ecosystem.

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A mysterious epidemic continues to sweep South Florida's reefs, transforming corals into lifeless skeletons and threatening undersea structures that support tourism, provide hurricane protection and serve as homes to a vast range of marine life.