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"Heads Up" in May 2023 with the Coral Chronicles

Updated: May 24, 2023

KICK OFF CORALPALOOZA™ AT ZOO MIAMI

On Sunday, June 4th Coral Restoration Foundation™ (CRF™) is kicking off our world-renowned Coralpalooza™ celebrations. We will be at Zoo Miami with an event for kids of all ages that promises interactive reef conservation experiences and captivating challenges – Captain Coral’s Scavenger Extravaganza 2023!




And RSVP to our Facebook event here: https://fb.me/e/2VsSVi8qv


 

PARTY FOR THE PLANET AT ZOO MIAMI

Zoo Miami hosted Party for the Planet, a two day Earth day celebration. They invited the Coral Restoration Foundation as one of their special guests, as well as a DJ, and speakers that spoke about animals at the zoo and how to protect them and their environments.

Each day of the event, four interns spoke to visitors about our mission at Coral Restoration Foundation to restore the reefs of the Florida Keys. Participants were able to play trivia, testing their knowledge on recycling, diving, and coral reef ecology to win free ENSO rings. They also got the chance to try our sensory box to see what coral mucus, polyps, and coral feel like. Zoo Miami also hosted interactive animal enrichment activities. Two CRF interns created a coral-themed enrichment box for one of the animals at the zoo.

Zoo Miami guests learn to raise corals on CRF™ Coral Trees™! ©Joseph Ducker/Coral Restoration Foundation™

 

CORAL COMMUNITY CORNER

Like humans, corals excrete mucus. This mucus is used as a protective barrier from irritants, as protection from harmful UV rays, to grab morsels of food floating in the water, and to retain moisture if they are ever exposed to dry environments.

Staghorn corals, and many other species, create a protective layer of mucous! ©Alexander Neufeld/Coral Restoration Foundation™


Florida is home to 10 species of dolphins, an animal that has adapted a unique way to fight off skin infections. Dolphins have been observed rubbing up against corals to heal skin infections and abrasions. Dolphins can get yeast, bacterial, and viral pox infections that can cause lesions as well as getting abrasions from run ins with other sea-life and boats. The dolphins will rub up against the corals to get mucus on their skin, mucus that is believed to contain antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. This behavior could mean that corals and their mucus could potentially be the pharmacy of the ocean!


From their observations of dolphins, scientists are looking to the sea to find medicine. Corals and sponges could be the cure to many superbugs that withstand current antibiotics, degenerative conditions that don’t currently have cure, and potentially even cancer. Corals and sponges may be the answer because they are sedentary animals that are unable to move to avoid a contaminated area and therefore have to develop their own chemical compounds to fight diseases and predators!


 

KEEP IN TOUCH!

Coral Restoration Foundation™ is an active member of the Florida Keys Community and we are always excited to join in for local outreach! You can keep up to date with all of the public outreach events we will be attending in upcoming months by subscribing to our Coral Chronicles email newsletter and checking our website calendar: https://www.coralrestoration.org/events


If you are hosting an event that you think CRF™ could make a difference at please let us know! We offer educational activities for all ages including an unforgettable virtual reality SCUBA dive through our Coral Tree™ Nursery! If you'd like CRF™ to be at your event please reach out to our Communications and Outreach Coordinator Madalen via email madalen@coralrestoration.org

 

Heads Up Editorial Intern

Julia is from California and went to Oregon State University where she majored in Zoology. She has had an interest in coral conservation ever since she got her Open Water certification in Indonesia. She also enjoys long walks in the intertidal, identifying marine invertebrates. She wants to educate others about coral and conservation efforts.


Sources for the Coral Community Corner article can be found below:


Coral Chronicles Editor

Madalen Howard is CRF's Communications and Outreach Coordinator. She comes to CRF™ via a winding road from the Tennessee hills, to the South Carolina low country, ending here in Florida’s Coral Reef. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Marine Biology and a Minor in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston in 2016. Her experience ranges from field research to education, marketing and digital communications.

With CRF™ Madalen creates inclusive pathways to scientific discovery through content creation and by building and fostering relationships with press, digital media creators, and local community members. Throughout her life Madalen has had a skill connecting people with nature, and is excited to bring people into the world of coral restoration.

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