Post-Hurricane Irma Images

 

Videos

A stand of pillar coral south of Stock Island was heavily impacted by Hurricane Irma. Wave energy, surge and bio-erosion have altered the reefscape. Credit: Benjamin D'Avanzo/NOAA

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A thick accumulation of fine sediment carried by Hurricane Irma’s powerful wave action covers the coral reef's surface, revealing the underlying purple crusts of coralline algae and the turf algae that is preventing the sediment from clearing. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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Divers assessing hurricane damage in the northern portion of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary frequently saw mechanical damage to sponges in the northern portion of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Huge loads of suspended sediments from the reefs and in the water that came out of Florida Bay are settling slowly reducing visibility on the reef. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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This French Angelfish may have been injured during Hurricane Irma, like many other creatures in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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Sediment deposits are the dominant form of damage to sponges seen at assessment sites in the Lower Keys beyond the 7-Mile Bridge down to around Western Sambo Ecological Reserve in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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This large piece of coral reef crust blew out of the bottom and landed upside down during Hurricane Irma. When the diver uprights it, you can see that several species of corals and sponges living on the upper side were crushed. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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At Conch Reef, a large mangrove tree sits 65 feet down entangled in lobster traps that are still attracting marine animals. The traps will continue to fish until they are either retrieved from the bottom or rot and fall apart. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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Images

person on deck draining water from a boat while others prepare to remove it

A contractor working with the US Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission carefully drains water from a sport fishing boat in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida, where hundreds of vessels sank during Hurricane Irma. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary staff serve as Natural Resource Advisers in environmentally-sensitive areas. Credit: Eric Raslich/NOAA

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NOAA LT Rosemary Abbitt sitting on deck writing on a clipboard

NOAA LT Rosemary Abbitt oversees the removal of a sunken sailboat west of Fleming Key. The 6-hour process was part of post-Hurricane Irma operations with staff from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary serving as natural resource advisers to reduce further impact to sensitive habitat. A Unified Command led by U.S. Coast Guard is assessing and removing more than 1700 damaged and displaced vessels in the Florida Keys that pose environmental and navigational hazards. Credit: Lonny Anderson/NOAA

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abraded sponge

Two months after Hurricane Irma, conditions remain unfavorable near West Washerwoman Shoal off the Saddlebunch Keys with heavy turbidity and sedimentation decreasing the overall health of staghorn corals. Credit: Benjamin D'Avanzo/NOAA

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abraded sponge

Abraded sponges like this one at Alligator Reef are found throughout the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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Divers conduct benthic surveys in 60 feet of water in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The quantitative data is useful for long-term scientific assessments of hurricane impact effects. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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Sombrero Reef off Marathon, Florida, sustained substantial force from storm waves dislodging large pieces corals. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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Scientists hope to determine if the fine sand accumulated in much of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary during Hurricane Irma washed in from the deeper Atlantic Ocean or from Florida Bay. Credit: Mike Buchman/NOAA

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Crushed and reoriented sea fans

Crushed and reoriented sea fans are found throughout much of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary where Hurricane Irma came cross the island chain. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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corals broken and dislodged with sections of the reef framework fractured

In areas of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary where Hurricane Irma crossed, corals were broken and dislodged with sections of the reef framework fractured. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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Portions of the coral reef tract fractured

Portions of the coral reef tract fractured where Hurricane Irma's eyewall crossed the Lower Florida Keys. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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branching elkhorn coral

Just as on land, Hurricane Irma affected some areas of the coral reef less than others. This branching elkhorn coral suffered only minor breakage. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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A large mangrove rests among displaced lobster traps at Conch Reef

A large mangrove rests among displaced lobster traps at Conch Reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Lobster fishermen lost tens of thousands of traps in Hurricane Irma less than a month after the beginning of harvest season. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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A thin sediment accumulated along Alligator Reef

A thin sediment accumulated along Alligator Reef and most of the reef tract within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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sponge with its top sheared off

Storm-force waves sheared the tops off sponges, especially in the upper portion of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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sponge with its top sheared off

Storm-force waves sheared the tops off sponges, especially in the upper portion of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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sponge with its top sheared off

Storm-force waves sheared the tops off sponges, especially in the upper portion of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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sponge with its top sheared off

Storm-force waves sheared the tops off sponges, especially in the upper portion of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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Sand and sediment stirred up by Hurricane Irma cover a sponge

Sand and sediment stirred up by Hurricane Irma resulted in widespread sponge mortality. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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Wire wrapped around staghorn coral

Wire wrapped around staghorn coral is indicative of strong wave action carrying marine debris into Florida’s coral reef tract. Credit: Steve Gittings/NOAA

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noaa boat shearwater

A liveaboard dive boat allowed scientists to remain at sea during the rapid assessment mission in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Credit: Katey Lesneski/Boston University

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deep sediment in areas where sea fans, corals, and sponges grow

Hurricane Irma changed the ocean floor by depositing deep sediment in areas where sea fans, corals, and sponges grow. Credit: Brenda Altmeier/NOAA

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Science divers note the species, size, location and recommendation for the restoration of corals

Science divers note the species, size, location and recommendation for the restoration of corals in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary after Hurricane Irma crossed the island chain. Credit: FORCE BLUE

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divers using lift bags to flipp and stabilize a 700 lbs brain coral

Former Special Operations divers with FORCE BLUE work alongside NOAA and Coral Restoration Foundation in triage and restoration of corals affected by Hurricane Irma. Using lift bags, the team flipped and stabilized this 700-pound brain coral that's estimated to be more than 150 years old. Photo: FORCE BLUE

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