Mary Louise Kelley, Florida Keys, Brian discussed on All Things Considered


A motorcycle and a cement truck it's three fifty a KC R. W. thanks for being with us this is All Things Considered from NPR news I'm Mary Louise Kelley and I'm ari Shapiro coral reefs are dying around the world and a new study suggests a way to save them the study of the Florida Keys shows that a lot of the stress on corals comes from local sources which means there are things local communities can do to help the corals NPR's pink Wong reports Brian the point has watched half of Florida's corals die off in the past twenty years watching the decline of court what we he has been heartbreaking I live in the Florida Keys and when I moved here in the early nineteen eighties I had no idea that we would be losing these corals the point a professor at Florida Atlantic University has spent his career studying corals at the leaky roof and the Florida Keys he's the lead author on any paper out in the journal marine biology it analyzes thirty years of data he's collected and its conclusion is actually hopeful you've got quite a story here would you put all this together that there actually is hope for coral reefs after all how does he figure a study which showed that warming temperatures were killing off corals but as data actually showed that the corals biggest problem was another human source too much nitrogen it comes from badly treated sewage as well as fertilizer and topsoil from people's yards and farms it feeds blooms of algae that block out the light and also throws off the nutrient balance in the water and make the calls more likely to catch disease to go through coral bleaching and to die Michael fox studies coral reefs at the woods hole oceanographic institution he wasn't involved in the study but he appreciates its long term view we're starting to have enough data to really track the impacts of local scale structures to quarrels over long enough time frames to understand how the communities are changing James Porter at the university of Georgia co authored the Florida study he says that in the past most scientists and the public figure that there was little we could do to help corals unless we fixed all of climate change what our study shows is that taking care of one off from the land which is a local phenomenon that can protect coral reefs to put this is our findings from Florida can apply to reefs around the world and that better sewage and storm water treatment might give corals a fighting chance at surviving climate change ping long NPR news.

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