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An extraordinary rescue effort is underway off the Florida Keys, as divers race to save thousands of coral fragments from overheating ocean nurseries. Record water temperatures are already bleaching wide stretches of the Florida Reef. While the reef can’t be moved to cooler water, the nearby nurseries where coral fragments are being grown can.

Michael Childress, a behavioral ecologist at Clemson University, describes the techniques volunteers and scientists are using to help protect the reef and save the nursery corals, which will one day help restore the struggling Florida Reef.

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Stacy Morford

Environment + Climate Editor

Elkhorn coral fragments rescued from overheating ocean nurseries sit in cooler water at Keys Marine Laboratory. NOAA

The heroic effort to save Florida’s coral reef from devastating ocean heat

Michael Childress, Clemson University

Widespread coral bleaching is underway as ocean temperatures hit record highs off the Florida Keys. Scientists and volunteer divers are racing to save these valuable creatures.

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