NPR

Florida's Corals Are Dying Off, But It's Not All Due To Climate Change, Study Says

A new study from the Florida Keys shows that a lot of the stress on corals comes from local sources, providing hope that community action can help save them.
Diver swimming over Elkhorn Coral in the Florida Keys. Elevated nutrients as well as elevated temperatures are causing a massive loss of this iconic branching species in Florida. Source: JW Porter/University of Georgia

Brian Lapointe, a research professor at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, has spent his career studying corals at the Looe Key Reef, in a National Marine Sanctuary in the Florida Keys.

Over that time, he's witnessed an alarming trend. In the past 20 year, half of Florida corals have died off.

"Watching the decline of coral at Looe Key has been heartbreaking," Lapointe says. "When I moved here in

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