This year, Mote Marine Laboratory staff rebuilt and enhanced their ocean acidification research system in the Florida Keys to double its capacity and incorporate finer-scale controls of experimental conditions, after Hurricane Irma destroyed the previous OA system in September 2017. This year’s improvements expanded the system — known as the Ocean Acidification Flow-Thru Experimental Raceway Units (OAFTERU) — to include 12 shallow raceways (all independently temperature and pH controlled) as well as six deeper raceways, which are all designed to maintain coral reef organisms under specific conditions for research on their biology, ecology, chemistry and resilience amid stressors such as climate change conditions.

During the last six months, Mote’s OAFTERU served six different user groups from institutions including: Richmond University, Stonybrook University, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, and Mote.

The OAFTERU system is based at Mote’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration on Summerland Key, Florida. Its rebuild and expansion was made possible by philanthropic donations and a grant awarded from Mote’s Protect Our Reefs Grants Program, which is funded through  sales of the Protect Our Reefs specialty license plate. Learn more: