Environmental Laboratory for Forensics
Contaminant detection of toxic substances.
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.
Contaminant detection of toxic substances.
Seeking to develop systems and techniques to grow coral and other reef species.
Study of the Ocean's Phytoplankton Community
The only program dedicated to developing & assessing electronic monitoring (EM) for the Gulf of Mexico commercial reef fish fishery
Rehabilitation hospital to provide provide state-of-the-art critical care & chronic care for stranded sea turtles and dolphins.
PERC is dedicated to improving stock assessment, management and sustainability of highly migratory fishes in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico
Studying manatee behavioral ecology, distribution, habitat use, genetics, and population status in Florida.
Study responses of ecologically important species to projected levels of ocean acidification.
Understanding processes and environmental factors that influence coral reef health.
Developing technologies to produce fish & invertebrates to meet growing demand for seafood & fishing stocks.
Long term study of dolphin populations in Sarasota Bay.
The Sharks & Rays Conservation Research Program is dedicated to studying the biology, ecology and conservation of sharks and their relatives
Basic and applied research on the health and immune systems of marine vertebrates
Studying the impacts of nutrients and physical parameters in riverine, estuarine and coastal environments.
Investigating how marine & freshwater chemicals impact public health
Advancing science to support abundant, productive fish populations
Bottom-dwelling organism response to environmental disturbance.
The Stranding Investigations Program (SIP) provides 24-hour response to sick, injured and deceased marine mammals & sea turtles.
Studying the physical, biological, geological & chemical processes that distribute nutrients and other chemical species in the ocean
Coral diseases are one of the greatest threats to reefs worldwide.
Study of how fish interact with their habitats & how disturbances influence these interactions.
DEVELOPING AND INTEGRATING ENHANCEMENT STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE AND RESTORE FISHERIES
Studying habitats and trends in turtle nesting to conserve Sea Turtles.
Using innovative ocean technology to accomplish interdisciplinary scientific goals
A Mote-FWC partnership to develop prevention, control and mitigation technologies and approaches that will decrease Florida red tide impacts
Studying sharks, skates and stingrays as laboratory animal models for basic & applied research
Investigating the source, fact & effects of toxins in the environment
The Red Tide Institute at Mote Marine Laboratory leads Florida red tide mitigation and control research.