Page Banner

The Role of Sponge Filtration in Transforming Coastal Water Quality in the Florida Keys

Scroll for More Quick Links
Document Type: 
Author Name: 
Mark Butler and Jose Lopez

Given the important role of sponges in shallow marine ecosystems, their decline in south Florida – both in terms of biomass and biodiversity – is likely to have had deleterious ecological consequences, particularly for water quality. Dr. Butler’s research team has been studying sponge ecology and the restoration of sponge communities in south Florida for over two decades and, in partnership with colleagues at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, have pioneered the methodology necessary for large-scale sponge community restoration. This project constitutes the next logical step in the development and understanding of the likely positive consequences of large-scale sponge restoration for the improvement of coastal water quality and nursery habitat in south Florida. While preliminary findings indicate that water quality among field sites differing in benthic substrate vary little, laboratory trials have revealed that all sponge species tested could reduce E. coli in coastal waters.  

Last Modified:
October 20, 2023 - 1:21pm

Some content on this site is saved in an alternative format. The following icons link to free Reader/Viewer software:
PDF: | Word: | Excel: