Study of the Ocean's Phytoplankton Community
Coral bleaching is the corals’ loss of their symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae), which give them their color. Bleaching is a natural event that occurs to some extent annually in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). Records show that coral bleaching has been occurring for many years in the Florida Keys and also indicate that the frequency and severity of these events has steadily increased since the 1980s. Large-scale mass coral bleaching events are driven by unusually warm sea temperatures and calm seas. The effects of these mass events are potentially devastating to ecosystems and the people who depend on them.
The initial onset of mass coral bleaching can vary among different species, geographic locations, types of reef zones and a fluctuation of severity, which makes it very difficult to predict where or when it will occur. The Florida Keys BleachWatch Program, modeled after Great Barrier Reef’s BleachWatch, is a team of trained recreational, commercial and scientific divers who help monitor and report on conditions at the reefs. After each visit to the reef, the divers complete a data form, either printed or online, and send it to the BleachWatch coordinator. The divers will be provided with an underwater wristband to use as a reference and a reminder key below and above the water.
Due to Florida reefs and portions of the Caribbean reefs experiencing an outbreak of stony coral tissue loss disease (potentially caused by bacteria), BleachWatch observers are also encouraged to also collect data on disease and no disease at their sites. These observations will help researchers try to understand the range, progression, and species affected. Please visit The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary for more information.
Information from NOAA's Coral Reef Watch (CRW) remote sensing and Integrated Coral Observing Network (ICON) in-situ environmental monitoring analysis are combined with "BleachWatch" volunteer observations in the field to provide a comprehensive overview of "current conditions" throughout the FKNMS. These reports will be generated according to the current conditions and the potential risk for coral bleaching and are listed below:
For more information about BleachWatch or the current conditions reports, please contact Cory Walter, BleachWatch Coordinator, at Mote Marine Laboratory: (305) 395-8730 For coral bleaching reports in the Southeast Florida Region, please report to SEAFAN.
Study of the Ocean's Phytoplankton Community
Using innovative ocean technology to accomplish interdisciplinary scientific goals
Advancing science to support abundant, productive fish populations
Understanding processes and environmental factors that influence coral reef health.
Studying sharks, skates and stingrays as laboratory animal models for basic & applied research
A Mote-FWC partnership to develop prevention, control and mitigation technologies and approaches that will decrease Florida red tide impacts
Seeking to develop systems and techniques to grow coral and other reef species.
Study responses of ecologically important species to projected levels of ocean acidification.
Developing technologies to produce fish & invertebrates to meet growing demand for seafood & fishing stocks.
Study of how fish interact with their habitats & how disturbances influence these interactions.
PERC is dedicated to improving stock assessment, management and sustainability of highly migratory fishes in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico
Studying the physical, biological, geological & chemical processes that distribute nutrients and other chemical species in the ocean
Studying habitats and trends in turtle nesting to conserve Sea Turtles.
Coral diseases are one of the greatest threats to reefs worldwide.
The Sharks and Rays Conservation Research Program is dedicated to studying the biology, ecology and conservation of sharks, skates and rays.
Investigating the source, fact & effects of toxins in the environment
Studying manatee behavioral ecology, distribution, habitat use, genetics, and population status in Florida.
The Stranding Investigations Program (SIP) provides 24-hour response to sick, injured and deceased marine mammals & sea turtles.
Bottom-dwelling organism response to environmental disturbance.
DEVELOPING AND INTEGRATING ENHANCEMENT STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE AND RESTORE FISHERIES
Studying the impacts of nutrients and physical parameters in riverine, estuarine and coastal environments.
Basic and applied research on the health and immune systems of marine vertebrates
Investigating how marine & freshwater chemicals impact public health
Rehabilitation hospital to provide provide state-of-the-art critical care & chronic care for stranded sea turtles and dolphins.
Contaminant detection of toxic substances.
Long term study of dolphin populations in Sarasota Bay.
The Red Tide Institute at Mote Marine Laboratory leads Florida red tide mitigation and control research.