Ballast Water Could Be Driving Spread Of Coral Disease

Ballast Water

Scientists investigating a devastating new coral disease infecting reefs from Florida to and throughout the Caribbean may be zeroing in on a culprit behind the unpredictable spread: ballast water from big ships. Investigators are now poring over shipping records housed at the Smithsonian to confirm the connection and better contain it. “This thing has now … Read more

Win a Florida Keys Superfan Coral Reef Restoration Eco-Adventure

Florida Keys Superfan

For travelers seeking “voluntourism” opportunities to help sustain the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef, the “Florida Keys Superfan” eco-adventure giveaway offers an enticing prize. One entrant is to win a five-night vacation that includes accommodations, eco-attractions and diving experiences to plant corals. The winner is to discover how divers can serve as … Read more

Sea Urchins To The Rescue Help Revive Ailing Reefs

Sea Urchins

University of Florida researchers at The Florida Aquarium have begun breeding long-spined sea urchins to help Florida’s ailing reefs recover. NOAA Florida has an underappreciated secret weapon to help heal its ailing reefs: prickly sea urchins. This week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration unveiled a $97 million rescue effort expected to take five to seven years. … Read more

The Race to Save the Coral of the Caribbean

Emily Hower, a research assistant at Nova Southeastern University doing field work on coral off Key West in Florida, bobs up out of the water and removes her diving mask. The news is not good. Most of the pillar coral that her team have been monitoring for years are dead.Hower and her colleagues are on … Read more

REEF Fest 2019 October 17-20 Key Largo

Elkhorn Coral

REEF Fest 2019 registration is now available! Book diving and snorkeling, register for events, and purchase your ticket to ‘For the Love of the Sea’ banquet online today! REEF Fest is an annual, four-day celebration to acknowledge the success of marine conservation and education initiatives in the Florida Keys. Events include educational seminars, social gatherings, diving and eco-adventures … Read more

FKNMS Lionfish Removal Permits

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary encourages the safe removal of invasive lionfish from its waters and issues lionfish removal permits to divers for the collection of lionfish from Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPAs). The permit allows lionfish to be removed from the SPAs, which are otherwise no-fishing, no-take zones, with hand nets or slurp guns only. Spearguns or … Read more

Florida Keys Rules You Should Know

The Florida Keys are a fragile and unique environment brimming with life and complex ecosystems.  Numerous state and federal regulations exist to protect the Florida Keys and surrounding ocean. Florida Keys Rules. Frequent reports of wildlife violations prompted us to create this guide to the many environmental protections that everyone, visitors and residents, should know.   … Read more

Bleaching Dive Gear May Stop Spread of Coral Disease

Cleaning scuba equipment between each dive could help slow down the rapid spread of Coral Disease, white blotch-like lesions, that attack and eventually kill coral colonies, local agencies say. The Florida Reef Tract, the world’s third largest barrier reef and the only in the continental U.S., is suffering from a large-scale stony coral tissue loss, … Read more

Predicted Dates For Annual Florida Coral Reef Spawning Announced

Spectacular night dives are nothing new to the Florida Keys, however, dives on or around August 26th or September 24th, 2018 will have something extra special. Those dates are full moons, and it is the time of the year to witness Coral Reef Spawning in the region. Although the exact reasons that trigger corals to spawn are not exactly understood, there … Read more

Best Natural Sunscreen for Scuba – Snorkeling – Swimming in Florida Keys

Sunscreen is a necessity for most scuba divers, but not all sunblock is created equal. Some contain an ingredient that’s destroying coral reefs around the world. The evidence is so strong, Hawaii may pass a law banning certain sunscreens. The primary chemical culprit is oxybenzone, an ingredient used in popular sunscreens made by Banana Boat, Coppertone, … Read more

Smartphone App Collects Data Help Save Florida Reefs

Wondering how you can help in the fight against the decline of corals? With a new smartphone app called OkCoral, the Coral Restoration Foundation is hoping it can answer that question by turning underwater photographers into a citizen scientists. Florida Reefs The idea behind the app is getting recreational divers to help monitor the health of coral clusters that the foundation … Read more

Fish Pee – Number 1 Nutrient for Coral Reefs

“It’s kind of a funny thing to say that we would conserve for fish pee,” says study author Jake Allgeier, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington. “But it is hopefully setting a precedent to think about these reefs differently.” Nearly 2,000 years ago, the Roman emperor Vespasian taxed the sale of human urine, then a … Read more

Barrel Sponge Spawning in the Florida Keys – Video

Giant barrel sponges are some of the largest animals on Florida’s coral reefs. Like corals, these giant sponges synchronize the release of eggs and sperm. Our researchers caught Barrel Sponge Spawning in the act. These barrel sponges are “broadcast spawners” because they release eggs and sperm into the water column. The fertilized eggs develop into larvae … Read more

Along Florida Keys Reef Hurricane Irma Brings Winners And Losers

Numerous coral heads and segments were dislodged and overturned by Hurricane Irma. Survey teams this week completed an assessment of the condition of the Florida Keys reef tract, from Biscayne Bay to Key West. “It’s very much like what’s observable on land,” said Sarah Fangman, superintendent of the 2,900-square-nautical-mile Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. “In some places, … Read more

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