NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is sharing a new online resource that provides information about the response to a coral disease outbreak in Florida.
The coral-disease outbreak began in 2014. So far, the outbreak is unprecedented in terms of geographic range, duration, high rates of mortality and the number of coral species affected. Nearly half of the stony coral species that make up the Florida Reef Tract are suffering. These include the primary reef-building species in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Coral disease in stony corals
NOAA is calling this stony-coral tissue loss a disease because it only affects stony corals. NOAA is one of several agencies, academic, and non-profit organizations responding to the outbreak. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the lead response agency.
This outbreak, and response, is ongoing. NOAA and the State of Florida have brought together coral experts to document the outbreak, identify the causes, understand the spread of the disease, and to identify and develop innovative, advanced treatments that may slow or stop the disease from spreading.
This web portal will be the primary location for public information about the Florida coral disease event.