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Tuesday, October 19, 2021
HomeCommunityEnvironmentTeam to Survey Entire STX Reef System to Treat Diseased Coral Colonies

Team to Survey Entire STX Reef System to Treat Diseased Coral Colonies

White patches on a brain coral at Black Point illustrate the rapid spread of the destructive SCTLD attacking reefs in V.I. waters. (Photo by Sonora Meiling)
White patches on a brain coral at Black Point illustrate the rapid spread of the destructive SCTLD attacking reefs in V.I. waters. (Photo by Sonora Meiling)

World Ocean Day is Tuesday, June 8, and in recognition of the importance of and the fragility of the coral reefs the Caribbean Oceanic Restoration and Education (CORE) Foundation STX Coral Strike Team will be performing Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease intervention treatment at Cane Bay from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 5.

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease is a rapidly fatal disease that affects many coral species; in some areas, as much as 95 percent of corals are lost. It was first found in St. Croix reefs over a year ago. Since then, the Caribbean Oceanic Restoration and Education STX Coral Strike Team has been surveying the entire reef system around St. Croix and has been actively treating the diseased coral colonies with a special mixture of a paste and antibiotic with good success.

Cane Bay is one of four treatment sites around the island, and on Saturday, the entire team of 14 volunteer divers will be out to treat as many corals as possible in two one-hour dives. They hope to treat as many as 500 different coral colonies.

For more information about Caribbean Oceanic Restoration and Education’s Strike Team effort for SCTLD response on St. Croix and Saturday’s diving event, contact Mike Funk at outreach@corevi.org or Matt Davies at matthew.davies@dpnr.vi.gov. Both will be available for comment at 3 p.m. following the event.

For more information about  Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease, the Virgin Islands coral disease response, and Caribbean Oceanic Restoration and Education’s strike team efforts across the territory, visit www.vicoraldisease.org or contact USVI Coral Disease Response Coordinator Joseph Townsend at joetown94@gmail.com.

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