As much as 97 percent of the coral cover in South Florida reefs has been lost in the last few decades. The endangered coral, threatened mostly by ocean warming and acidification, are so stressed that the marine invertebrates may be pushed to the brink of endangerment, with little chance of recovering on their own. But when scientists begin their work at the Mote Marine Laboratory’s new $7 million International Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration on Friday, threatened coral reefs will have a better positioned ally in the Florida Keys.


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