Coral fragments of wild Florida elkhorn and staghorn in the living gene bank at The Reef Institute. | Image: NOAA; courtesy of The Reef Institute.

Federal authorities and scientists are scrambling to relocate corals from Florida’s coastlines before a killer heatwave wipes them out.

The water is unbearably hot for corals, animals whose bodies form the reefs that coastal communities and other marine life depend on. Corals get their color from a symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic algae that provide them with the nutrients they need to survive. Unusually high temperatures, as the Atlantic Ocean is experiencing this summer, drive that colorful algae away. It’s a problem called coral bleaching that, if it lasts too long, ultimately kills corals.

“Our hands-on restoration work is now all that stands between these animals and their extinction.”

Anticipating a mass die-off,…

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