01/23/2015

Conserving Cuba’s Coral Reefs

8:39 minutes

A healthy stand of elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) in Cuba's Gardens of the Queen. Photo by David E. Guggenheim
A healthy stand of elkhorn coral (“Acropora palmata”) in Cuba’s Gardens of the Queen. Photo by David E. Guggenheim

The Carysfort Reef of Key Largo, Florida, has lost 95 percent of its coral cover since 1975. But 150 miles to the south, coral reefs on the southern coast of Cuba are flourishing. Marine scientist David Guggenheim dives into what has kept these Cuban colonies healthy and how this insight could affect the management of corals worldwide.

A dramatic time series of photos documenting the 95 percent loss of coral cover from Carysfort Reef, Key Largo, Florida since 1975. The photos capture the loss of a once thriving colony of elkhorn coral, "Acropora palmata." Photos by Phil Dustan
A dramatic time series of photos documenting the 95 percent loss of coral cover from Carysfort Reef, Key Largo, Florida since 1975. The photos capture the loss of a once thriving colony of elkhorn coral, “Acropora palmata.” Photos by Phil Dustan

Segment Guests

David Guggenheim

David Guggenheim is a marine scientist and president of Ocean Doctor in Washington, D.C.

Meet the Producer

About Alexa Lim

Alexa Lim is a producer for Science Friday. Her favorite stories involve space, sound, and strange animal discoveries.

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