FWC Coral Reef Restoration Seawater System

The Coral Reef Restoration Seawater System (CRRSS) is a collaborative effort between the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Keys Marine Laboratory (KML)/Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO). This new system, which became operational in March 2022, increased overall capacity (nearly 3,000-gal and 30 square feet of seawater tables) for reef restoration projects for the Florida Reef Tract. 

Why the CRRSS is needed

Florida’s Coral Reef is a diverse ecosystem that supports thousands of organisms including reef-building corals, gorgonians, sponges, fish, algae, and invertebrates. However, this ecosystem is currently experiencing a multi-year disease-related mortality event, that has resulted in massive die-offs in multiple coral species. This disease, termed stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) affects approximately 21 species of coral, including both Endangered Species Act-listed and the primary reef-building species. The severity of this disease epidemic has resulted in an unprecedented concerted, collaborative and organized effort among management agencies, researchers, conservation practitioners, non-governmental organizations, veterinarians, and engaged citizens.

The complexity of the unprecedented effort has required expansion and upgrade to facilities required to maintain rescued coral colonies during their transport to the various holding facilities. Due to our central location within the Florida Keys, we here at KML of FIO have serve as the central holding facility for this process, but an upgrade to our existing coral holding facilities was necessary to fully support the coral rescue effort. The CRRSS includes a new 30 foot by 40 foot shade structure and additional seawater tanks to hold corals with a maximum capacity of 2,650 gallons.

How to book this system

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