Disney has just announced that they have partnered with SeaWorld, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and NOAA Fisheries to establish the Florida Coral Rescue Center.
For the past year, a dedicated team of Disney aquatic wildlife experts and conservationists have been working on a special mission to help save Florida’s coral reefs from the rapid spread of stony coral tissue loss disease, which has put 22 coral species at risk of extinction.
The Florida Coral Rescue Center is the largest facility of its kind in the U.S. to care for and safeguard some of the most vulnerable species of Florida coral.
With the Florida coastline as home to Disney Cruise Line and part of our backyard, Disney wants to do what they can to keep coral reefs vibrant and healthy. The Florida Coral Rescue Center provides a safe, stable environment for the 745 coral specimens and their offspring currently in their care. The Center’s goal is to one day return these rescued corals back to the ocean so they can help restore underwater ecosystems, which are essential to hundreds of marine-life who rely on them for their well-being.
A diverse cross-functional team of wildlife experts and conservation leaders are part of this herculean effort to make a difference for Florida’s reefs for future generations. One of the people leading the charge in Disney’s involvement is Dr. Andy Stamper, who has years of expertise in coral conservation worldwide and promoting healthy oceans.
Dr. Stamper’s work to rehabilitate coral reefs in The Bahamas, done in partnership with Disney Cruise Line and Disney Conservation, compelled Disney to help with this effort. Disney was the first in The Bahamas to implement coral nurseries in 2007. The team has been able to study the impacts on reefs as well as successfully grow and transplant new corals. The Disney Conservation Fund has also provided nearly $17 million to marine conservation programs spanning every ocean across the globe, including more than 70 grants to help protect coral reefs.
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!