coral

A. Neufeld / Coral Reef Restoration Foundation

Nursery-bred coral planted on reefs as part of a massive effort to save America’s only inshore tract do well initially, but most don’t survive beyond seven years.

The findings, published this week in the journal PLOS One, indicate what many scientists already know: reefs can’t be saved without fighting global warming.

Coral City Camera

County and municipal marinas are closed, popular sandbars are empty for the first time in recorded history, and there are no cruise ships packed with passengers sailing out of South Florida’s ports. On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot going on when it comes to life on the water, due to the COVID-19 crisis.

That’s on the surface.

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

Port Everglades and local elected officials marked the first step in a $437 million expansion to make way for expected massive new cargo ships with a celebratory press conference on Tuesday.

“It’s a critical milestone in getting there,” acting port director Glenn Wiltshire said afterwards of the $29 million Congress approved this month to move a Coast Guard station blocking work.

Andrew Bruckner / NOAA

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.

Michal Kranz / WLRN

Federal and state officials are trying to strike a balance between conservation and public access to South Florida waters.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission agreed Thursday to back tighter fishing limits in Biscayne National Park, where fish populations have dwindled.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

APOLLO BEACH -- After two years and more than $4.5 million, scientists working with the Florida Aquarium have pulled off something no one else ever has: They coaxed imperiled Atlantic Ocean coral into spawning in a laboratory, aquarium officials announced Wednesday.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

The odds are stacked against Florida’s coral reefs.

A mysterious disease is devastating them. So is climate change, which warms and acidifies ocean waters. Development and pollution don’t help much, either.

Landmark federal legislation to help corals expired in 2000, and a new bill introduced Friday by Florida’s Republican senators would revive it.

Brian Lapointe / Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

A landmark 30-year study of ailing coral in the Florida Keys shows nutrient-supercharged water from as far north as Orlando is contributing to the death of an ancient ecosystem that evolved to thrive in a fertilizer-free environment.

Miami Herald archives

A former lead biologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who managed the controversial dredging of PortMiami will plead guilty to lying, her attorney told a Miami federal judge on Tuesday.

C.M. Guerrero Miami Herald

A $205 million Port Miami channel expansion that left a swath of dead coral and led to a legal battle over damage is facing more controversy. 

A new study published last week concluded U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors vastly underestimated the amount of coral killed. Meanwhile, the Miami U.S. Attorney's Office last week charged the lead biologist on the project who oversaw coral monitoring with lying about working part-time for an outside consultant hired by the Corps.

FWC Corals Program

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.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is expected this week to sign the world's first ban on the sale of sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. The state is banning the products because of concerns they may be harming one of the state's biggest attractions — coral reefs.

While it doesn't kick in until 2021, the move is already prompting pushback.

At a time when the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs are facing unprecedented destruction, researchers in Australia have found a small ray of hope for the fish that make the reefs their home.

Fish are more resilient to the effects of ocean acidification than scientists had previously thought, according to research published Thursday in Scientific Reports.

Rudiger Bieler, The Field Museum

A sea snail with spider-like abilities.  Sounds like a sci-fi movie monster.

But the creature recently discovered in the Florida Keys is causing some very real anxiety for scientists worried that it could become a particularly troublesome exotic invader.

Wilfredo Lee / AP via Miami Herald

Congress passed the Water Resources Development Act on Wednesday -- and that could be a dual victory for South Florida. The act authorizes the Central Everglades Planning Project, which is slated to provide about $2 billion dollars for various ecosystem restoration efforts. And, it supports a $320 million dollar Port Everglades expansion that’s intended to help larger, heavier ships navigate the area.

 

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