Florida Coral Reefs Dying

Jordan Huddleston


Researchers from Nova Southeastern University are battling a disease that is killing off coral reefs. The disease killing the coral reefs started in 2014 off the coast of Miami but has now spread all along the coast. Experts call the disease stony coral tissue loss disease. The disease kills off good tissue in the coral, causing it to turn white and die. Once vibrant and colorful, now the reefs are turning white as they die and there is no promise that the coral could ever rebound back. 

In order to try to slow the disease, researchers have been treating the coral reefs with a special paste that has amoxicillin in itThe researchers put the paste on the coral where it is infected and have seen a significant success rate of about 85 percent. Out of the 40 coral reef sights in the Florida Keys about 38 sites have already been affected by the disease.  Researchers do not know exactly what is causing the disease but suspect it could be bacteria but are also not ruling or warmer water temperatures due to climate change.  

The Federal Government did donate 267 million dollars to the conservation of coral reefs and alone 3.5 went straight into Florida into different projects that are trying to save the reefs. Researchers are trying to get a bill passed to help protect coral reefsespecially since Florida’s coral reefs are the third largest barrier reef ecosystems in the world. About 4,000 species call the reefs home and use the coral reefs in some way during their life cycles.  

Researchers are trying to get the word out about the disease in hopes more can be done to help save the coral reefs. 




Works Cited 

Roth, Samantha Jo. We Do a Lot of Crying Underwater”: Researchers Battle Coral Disease with Human Drug. MYNEWS13, 

https://www.mynews13.com/fl/orlando/news/2020/02/27/researchers-try-to-slow-disease-destroying-atlantic-reef. Accessed 1 March 2020.