Since 2014, a multi-year, multi-species disease outbreak has progressed geographically along the Florida Reef Tract from an origin near Virginia Key. Over half of the hard coral species on the reef are susceptible, and the disease often results in 100% infection rates and 100% subsequent mortality. Susceptible species include five of the seven ESA-listed Caribbean coral species and most of the reef-building species.
Beginning in December 2017, treatment options in laboratory settings were tested for effectiveness in halting advancing disease margins. Treatments included barriers such as trenching and/or application of clay or epoxy bands. They also included the addition of high chlorine concentrations or antibiotics to those barriers. Most treatments proved moderately to completely ineffective in the laboratory setting. The most promising laboratory treatments, as well as successful work on chlorinated treatments on some Southeast Florida (SEFL) wild colonies, were conducted in the field in attempts to save wild colonies as well as to compare effectiveness of various treatments.
February 9, 2022 - 10:33am
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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.