Around the Sanctuary - 2011

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Large rescued corals in underwater nursery

More than 1,500 Rescued Corals Given Second Life
More than 1,500 coral colonies and fragments are destined for a new life following their rescue from a seawall construction project in Key West. Naval Air Station Key West worked closely with Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary resource managers to make sure that planned repairs to a deteriorating seawall on the Navy's Mole Pier harbor would cause minimal impact to corals, which are protected by the sanctuary. More...

scientist conducting coral research

Annual Coral Monitoring Nets 1,000 Pounds of Marine Debris
This summer, scientists from southeast region national marine sanctuaries and University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) Center for Marine Science performed 682 dives to study the health of coral reefs in the middle and upper Florida Keys. Scientists surveyed the density, size, and condition of benthic — or bottom dwelling — coral reef organisms, and measured and removed more than 1,000 pounds of marine debris. More...

Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structure

Scientists to Learn More about "Hidden Life" of Reef
Coral reefs are the most biologically rich marine ecosystems in the world, yet we still have much to learn about the vast array of species that exist on them. When most people think of reefs, they think of corals and fish. Yet, aside from tiny microbes, the majority of reef diversity comes from the lesser known species of invertebrates known as crypotobiota, which loosely translates to “hidden life.” More...

lionfish being weighed

The Science Behind Sanctuary Lionfish Derbies
Since 2010, four Florida Keys lionfish derbies have removed 1,200 lionfish from sanctuary waters. Co-organized by Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Reef Environmental Education Foundation, these one-day removal events are more than just fun and prizes. More...

coral spawning

Coral Spawning Season in the Sanctuary
Every year after the full moons of late summer, something exciting happens on the reefs of the Florida Keys — corals reproduce. Coral colonies, preparing to build reefs for the future, will release their gametes (eggs and sperm) simultaneously in a spectacular underwater show. Using the lunar cycle, scientists are able to predict when specific types of corals will most likely reproduce, or spawn. More...