Record Coral Die-Off in the Caribbean
Scientists from NOAA and the United States National Park Service have reported an unprecedented reef-building coral die-off in the Caribbean.
“It’s an unprecedented die-off,” said National Park Service fisheries biologist Jeff Miller, who last week checked 40 stations in the Virgin Islands. A February NOAA report calculates 96 percent of lettuce coral, 93 percent of the star coral and nearly 61 percent of the iconic brain coral in St. Croix had bleached. Much of the coral had started to recover from the bleaching last fall, but then the weakened colonies were struck by disease, finishing them off.