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Land-Based Nitrogen Pollution Playing Major Role in Coral Reef Die-Offs

Bleached Coral
Acropora at English Wikipedia
Bleached Coral

Coral reefs are facing serious threats all over the world, and are dying at alarming rates. Scientists have mostly attributed coral bleaching and diseases to environmental stressors like warming water temperatures and increased acidification brought on by climate change. Now, a 30 year study reveals land-based nitrogen is playing a major role.

Plus, while the floating tropical brown seaweed Sargassum is essential for marine life, too much of it can be disastrous, causing serious environmental, ecological and economic problems. Now, researchers have discovered what they’re calling the “Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt” which extends from West Africa all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. There is concern this may just be the “new normal.” We're joined by Dr. Brian LaPointe, he’s a research professor at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, and the lead researcher on both of these new studies. 


Copyright 2019 WGCU

Julie Glenn is the host of Gulf Coast Live. She has been working in southwest Florida as a freelance writer since 2007, most recently as a regular columnist for the Naples Daily News. She began her broadcasting career in 1993 as a reporter/anchor/producer for a local CBS affiliate in Quincy, Illinois. After also working for the NBC affiliate, she decided to move to Parma, Italy where she earned her Master’s degree in communication from the University of Gastronomic Sciences. Her undergraduate degree in Mass Communication is from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University.