Corals in quarantine at Jenk’s

Cara Monroe an aquarist at Jenkinson's Aquarium look over 70 corals from Florida that have been moved from the wild to protect them from a disease that is killing stony corals. MARK R. SULLIVAN

POINT PLEASANT BEACH— Jenkinson’s Aquarium recently received 72 corals from Florida that have been removed from the ocean in order to protect them from a fatal disease outbreak that has been extending across the Florida Reef Tract [FRT] since 2014. 

Cora Monroe, an aquarist at Jenkinson’s Aquarium, said the aquarium is expecting to receive more corals in the next week, as the aquarium continues to be one of the primary holders of the corals selected by the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission [FWC] and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA].

“The corals are already dealing with climate change and bacterial blooms. Those are already affecting them, and they’re bleaching and wiping out reefs, and then along comes this disease that we don’t know anything about, that is now doing even more damage [with an] 80 percent mortality rate,” said Ms. Monroe. 

“They need our help. They need people to be excited about them.”

Starting July 22, the aquarium began giving behind-the-scenes coral tours to educate people on the corals rescued from the stony coral tissue loss disease epidemic. 

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.