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Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease

Florida's Coral Reef is experiencing a multi-year outbreak of stony coral tissue loss disease. While disease outbreaks are common, this event is unique due to its large geographic range, extended duration, rapid progression, high rates of mortality and the number of species affected. Scientists are still investigating the cause of the disease, which can be transmitted to other corals through direct contact and water circulation. Researchers are working to identify potential causes and relationships with environmental factors, strategies to treat diseased colonies, and identify individual corals that are potentially resistant to the disease. Learn more about stony coral tissue loss disease, scientist and reef manager’s response to the disease, and how you can help.

Did you know?

  • Coral reefs occupy less than 1 percent of the world’s oceans, but it is estimated that approximately 25 percent of marine fish species inhabit coral reefs during some part of their lives.
  • Coral reefs safeguard against extreme weather, shoreline erosion, and coastal flooding, and help to form the sandy beaches and quiet lagoons that are signatures of Florida’s tourism industry.
  • Coral reefs in southeast Florida are valued at $8.5 billion generating $4.4 billion in local sales, $2 billion in local income and over 70k full and part time jobs.