Scientists’ Discovery Could Save Great Coral Reef

The groundbreaking discovery comes from a group of researchers in The Florida Aquariam’s Center for Conservation in Apollo Beach. In a collaborative effort to save the endangered reef, scientists were able to grow ridged cactus coral in human care. This is an unprecedented achievement, being as it has been extremely difficult for researchers to be able to even study coral. “We are losing coral species faster than we can learn about them,” senior coral scientist at the Florida Aquarium Keri O’Neill told CNN. Nevertheless, this April the impossible was rendered possible as scientists were not only able to reproduce ridged cactus coral, but record the process on video to help whereas previously there was no photos, measurements or documentation showcasing the larvae of ridged cactus coral. 


Despite the all-consuming COVID-19 crisis, those involved were still able to share and enjoy their accomplishment with the public. “Our resolve to save Florida’s endangered coral reefs continues, and this historic breakthrough by our coral experts- our second in 8 months – provides additional hope for the future of all coral reefs in our backyard and around the globe,” explained Roger Germann, President and CEO of the Florida Aquarium. “While our aquarium remains temporarily closed to the public as we support our community’s well being efforts, not even a global pandemic can slow us down when it comes to protecting and restoring America’s ‘great’ barrier reef.”


All of this means a beacon of hope for a scientific community that has been working tirelessly to help save a battered ecosystem. With this being the first time this has ever been done, there is still a lot left uncertain and the future of the great coral reef is shrouded in mystery. However thanks to the incredible men and women who made history in their contributions to ocean wellfare, the light at the end of the tunnel is finally visible.