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Florida Coral Disease Response Coordinator

Biscayne Bay Environmental Center
1277 NE 79th Street
Miami, Florida 33138
305-795-1221
mmartinelli1@ufl.edu

Since mid-2014, the Florida Reef Tract has been experiencing an outbreak of a new coral disease called Stony Coral Tissue-Loss Disease (SCTLD). The longevity, number of species impacted, high species-specific prevalence rates, and high mortality rates of this outbreak have led to substantial impacts to affected nearshore coral communities. While the disease was first reported off the coast of Miami-Dade County, as of early 2019, the SCTLD outbreak stretches from the northern extent of the reef tract in Martin County to Eastern Dry Rocks in the Lower Keys of Monroe County.

Due to the severity and persistence of the SCTLD outbreak, a response has coalesced among management authorities, academia, conservation practitioners, non-governmental organizations, veterinarians, and engaged citizens. The response is led by three agencies: the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Maurizio’s role as the Coral Disease Response Coordinator is to work closely with these lead agencies to determine response priorities and to help facilitate the collaboration and exchange of information amongst the ~50 partner organizations in the response.

Education

  • BA, International Development Studies, McGill University
  • MAS, Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD
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