Gulf of Mexico’s Largest Coral Sanctuary Faces Mystery Extreme Threat

"A new disease that’s killing off more than 90% of some coral species has made its first incursion into the rainbow-hued seascapes covering the Gulf of Mexico’s largest and most-treasured coral sanctuary.

Scientists working this month in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas have spotted corals with the telltale white lesions associated with stony coral tissue loss disease.

Michelle Johnston, a sanctuary ecologist, raced to get the word out.

“Literally, at 3:30 in the morning I’m holding my 3-year-old and I’m texting ‘I’ve got bad news,’” Johnston said. While the disease hasn’t been confirmed, Johnston said all coral experts she’s consulted are “90% sure” the New Orleans-sized sanctuary is now infected."

Tristan Baurick reports for September 23, 2022.

Source:, 09/27/2022