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Coral ECA Reef-Building Coral Disease Intervention and Preparation for Restoration

Written by: Brian K. Walker, Nicholas R. Turner, Alysha Brunelle, Hunter Noren, Samantha Buckley

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) was first discovered in the Southeast Florida Coral ECA in 2014 and remains present in the region. Regional 2020 NCRMP assessments identified active disease at 13% of the survey sites indicating a relatively high SCTLD prevalence.

The majority of these occurred on the shallow Colonized Pavement and Inner Reef in the Broward-Miami ecoregion.

As of April 30, 2021, a total of 851 colonies were treated by the coral disease interventions strike teams in the Coral ECA since 2018 (including the experimental sites, but not the large priority corals in section 4.2) totaling 533 meters of treatment. Between April 2020 and April 2021, 311 colonies were treated.

The amount and species of corals treated in broad scale recon surveys indicates that there are still some rare survivors of the highly susceptible brain coral species in the area and some are still succumbing to the disease.

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