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NOAA launches Mission: Iconic Reefs to save Florida Keys coral reefs

Written by: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The coral reefs at the foot of Florida are legendary, making up a barrier reef that spans more than 255 continuous miles. The reefs are home to lobster, sea turtles, fish, and more, and they have protected the coastline from storm surge for thousands of years. But these coral reefs, like coral reefs across the globe, are in serious trouble.

In recent decades, the coral reefs within Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary have been damaged by hurricanes, bleaching, disease, and heavy human use. The sanctuary and its partners are working diligently to protect the reefs, but our efforts have not been able to keep up with the decline. Now, NOAA and our partners are launching Restoring Seven Iconic Reefs: A Mission to Recover the Coral Reefs of the Florida Keys, one of the largest investments in reef restoration anywhere in the world. By restoring corals at seven iconic reef sites in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, we can change the trajectory of an entire ecosystem and help save one of the world’s most unique areas for future generations.

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