Researchers ask the recreational diving community for help.
A coral disease outbreak first reported in Miami, July 2015 was observed to have spread to Broward County reefs by September 2015. During July 2016, FDEP and FWC asked recreational scuba divers to report coral disease observations in an effort to help delineate the extent of the problem.
While the cause of the disease remains unknown it continues to spread with reports as far north as Palm Beach County and south to the Keys. The Florida Reef Tract is the third longest barrier reef in the world stretching from the Dry Tortugas to Martin County and it is in serious trouble. Some reefs were found to show indications of infection rates of 100% with significant coral mortality.
Due to the size of the reef tract and extent of the problem coral reef researchers are turning to recreational divers to document conditions with photographs and report observations to a special FDEP website www.seafan.net .