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The Florida Barrier Reef’s Last Stand

C.J. Ciaramella of Reason reports on efforts to save Florida’s barrier reef.

The C3 Take
  • Over 97 percent of the Florida Reef Tract, America’s only great barrier reef, has died due to pollution, bleaching events caused by water temperature changes, and disease.
  • Scientists and volunteers are scrambling to use innovative solutions to save this reef.
  • One tactic being employed is reintroducing the Caribbean king crab to the reef. These crabs play a critical role in preventing these areas from being overtaken by algae.
  • Other strategies include empowering locals, boaters, and divers to submit bleaching reports and photos from their own observations of local reefs to give scientists an early warning system for bleaching.

“If the reefs collapsed completely, it would be disastrous for the Florida Keys. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the reefs in Southeast Florida are valued at $8.5 billion and sustain 70,000 full- and part-time jobs. The barrier reef also protects the Keys from hurricanes and major storms by soaking up wave action.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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