More Florida Keys Bleaching

Walt Jaap STP JAAP_W at
Fri Sep 11 14:56:52 EDT 1998

NOTES ON BLEACHING,  Tortugas area: 24 N  81 to 82 W.

We dove 30 to 90 ft, 5 sites, Dry Tortugas National Park and on the Tortugas
Banks, 8, 9 Sept.  The incidence of bleaching (complete loss of color, total
colony or partial) was moderate at most sites.  Approximately 15 to 25 percent
of the colonies were affected.  Water temperature (diving computer data) was 86
to 87 F. Most Colpophyllia natans were exhibiting lightened color, but few were
displaying bleached condition.  On the Tortugas Banks (70 to 90 ft), the
bleaching was less intense.

We walked along the moat wall of Ft. Jefferson and saw many corals were very
bleached.  water depth is approximately 10 ft.  Palythoa, Millepora, and
Scleractinia all exhibited intense bleaching.

Walt Jaap, FMRI

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