A response priority has been active in-water intervention to treat diseased corals. As such, a collaborative coral disease response strike team was established between Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and FORCE BLUE, a nonprofit organization composed of former elite combat divers who are retrained and deployed on missions of conservation. The strike team consisted of FORCE BLUE divers who were contracted for 50 days of dive support, and NSU divers contracted separately for 40 days of oversight and collaborative efforts with FORCE BLUE plus an additional 30 days of associated in-water coral treatment and data collections. All FORCE BLUE operations were ultimately completed in collaboration with NSU. From December 2018 to June 2019, the NSU/FORCE BLUE strike team conducted extensive treatments on corals at locations designated by the ECT (Executive Coordination Team) as high priority sites. Laboratory and field trials conducted since December 2017 (Neely and Hower 2019; Neely 2018a) provided disease treatment options that might prove effective on wild diseased corals, and these were employed by the in-water teams. This document reports on work conducted through June 19, 2019.
March 23, 2020 - 4:02pm
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.