Founders Club Awards Mote Marine Grant for Coral Disease Research



Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium coral scientists may get one step closer to better understanding a devastating coral disease with the help of a new grant from the Founders Garden Club of Sarasota.

The Founders Garden Club, a member of the Garden Club of America and based in Sarasota, awarded a $20,000 grant to Mote’s Coral Health & Disease Research Program to investigate the potential of microplastics serving as a vector in the spread of coral disease. The leader of this investigation will be Dr. Erinn Muller, Science Director for Mote’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration and Manager of Mote’s Coral Disease and Coral Restoration programs.

First identified in 2014 near Virginia Key, FL, stony coral tissue loss disease has caused devastation throughout the Florida Reef Tract, spreading all the way to Key West. The disease affects at least 20 different species of coral, causing over 80% mortality in some species. The disease is believed to be a water-borne bacteria, although the exact pathogen is still unknown.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

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