This article has been republished in The Conversation.
Armed with scrub brushes, young scuba divers took to the waters of Florida’s Alligator Reef in late July to try to help corals struggling to survive 2023’s extraordinary marine heat wave. Under the supervision and instruction of I.CARE interns, they carefully scraped off harmful algae and other predators impinging upon staghorn pieces.
Normally, I.CARE’s volunteer divers would be transplanting corals to waters off the Florida Keys this time of year, as part of a national effort to restore the Florida Reef. This year, however, the tides are turning.
Scientists from government agencies, universities and coral reef restoration groups launched a heroic rescue effort as water temperatures soared in Florida Keys. Divers have been diving in the Florida Keys every day to collect corals and move them into cooler water.
Ken Nedimyer is a marine biologist and his team from Reef…