Coral Reef Disease and Condition Cruise
Since 1997, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and partner agencies have been monitoring coral health along almost 200 miles of the Florida reef tract. Today this is an ongoing activity conducted through partnerships, but in the past annual research expeditions were conducted to focus on studying coral disease. During the Coral Reef Disease and Condition Cruise, scientists looked for trends in reef health and decline, including one of the least understood stressors to reef health — coral disease.
During their annual mission, researchers perform more than 80 dives, monitoring approximately more than 40 stations at 13 reef sites within the sanctuary, from Key Largo through the Dry Tortugas.
The information gathered on these research expeditions will help scientists to better understand the relationships between disease occurrence, coral communities, and both human- and environmentally caused stressors which could be contributing to disease outbreaks.
Read the mission logs of past Coral Reef Disease and Condition Cruises:2009: Working to Save Reef-Building Corals Expedition
In September 2009, scientists from Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and partnering universities and organizations embarked on a nine-day research mission on the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster to study the health of Florida Keys reefs.
2008: Working to Save Reef-Building Corals Expedition
In August 2008, the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster was used to assess coral health at permanent stations located throughout the sanctuary.
2007: Working to Save Reef-Building Corals Expedition
In September 2007, the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster will be used to assess coral health in all locations where permanent stations have been established. The assessment will be compared to past years’ surveys to evaluate patterns and trends in coral health along the Florida Reef Tract.