Florida Keys Community College invites the community to learn about a major coral disease outbreak threatening the Florida Reef and the collaborative response to fight it.  The urgent topic headlines a special, early event in the College’s annual VIP Series.  The presentation will be led by Dr. Andrew Bruckner, Research Coordinator at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, on Wednesday, September 19 at 7 p.m. in the Tennessee Williams Theatre on the Key West Campus.

Coral reefs throughout the Florida Keys have exhibited a stepwise decline in living coral cover over the last 40 years.  However, the recent outbreak of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease in the Florida Reef presents an unprecedented risk to numerous coral species, including many Endangered Species.  In his presentation, Dr. Bruckner will describe the impacts on the coral ecosystem as well as the multi-pronged, collaborative response to combat the killer disease.

Dr. Bruckner has nearly four decades of experience in research, monitoring, restoration and conservation projects on coral reefs worldwide.  Before joining the sanctuary in May, he was the lead scientist for the Living Oceans Foundation.  He also established Coral Reef CPR, a nonprofit charity working to restore reefs through research, education and low-tech coral gardening and restoration programs.

FKCC’s VIP Series invites the community to learn from the visions, ideas, and perspectives of speakers of local, regional, and national prominence.  The College will resume its regular VIP Series schedule in January.  To learn more about the Florida Reef Tract Coral Disease Outbreak, visit: https://floridakeys.noaa.gov/coral-disease/.