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The Reef Institute

The Reef Institute

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Hey Reef Institute, it's great to see you on Reef2Reef! Could you share some information on the day-to-day operations of your facility? How many team members make up the institute?

Cheers,
A curious South-Florida Marine Scientist
Hi! We have 3 full time staff, and about 7 interns We are about to add another scientist to our work as well (if you wanted to send in a resume). Our facility is about 2,000 square feet separated into two main sections. We have a pacific area that is mainly used for education, and then due to biodiversity we have all of our research separated into another area. Interns photograph the current rescues, measure, due water quality, water changes, siphon, and clean rescue vats. Our marine vet cares for the corals and ensures their healthy on a daily basis. He also cares for our other fish and inverts in our facility. Today I spent 2 hours fixing what should have been a simple tank issue that wasn't simple for some reason :) Tonight I am being interviewed by a 5th grader wanting to know more about why our reefs are dying. We also have a full time educator and partner with a school to provide weekly education to all of the students in the school. I am the Executive Director and I get to do all of the awesome day to day stuff. We also do coral monitoring locally in the water, fish counts, and so many other things. If you are interested in finding out more you can email me at: [email protected]
 
OP
The Reef Institute

The Reef Institute

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Joined
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Location
West Palm Beach
Hey Reef Institute, it's great to see you on Reef2Reef! Could you share some information on the day-to-day operations of your facility? How many team members make up the institute?

Cheers,
A curious South-Florida Marine Scientist
Hi ARBurke, Dr. Gregory here.
I'm a marine veterinarian with a masters in aquaculture and a degree in marine bio and oversee general operations. We are lucky enough to have some amazing automation. 7 apex brains, dozens of gen4 radions, and 5 tridents along with dosing and auto water changers through DOS units help our aquarium maintenance be minimal. The right formula for cleanup crews provided by the Florida Coral Rescue Team keeps the algae balanced as well. We get alarms if there's water on the floor or chemistry gets weird...salinity probes are our current minimal ongoing hassle as calibration on those probes is finicky (the forums here corroborate that). Some of our rescue corals have heavy metal incorporated into their base and skeletons so we send out weekly ICP to watch chromium, cobalt, copper, etc. and use heavy metal ion removing resins. As a non-profit we are lucky to be able to have a large pool of qualified interns to do a lot of the labor while they learn marine bio and aquarium science. The automation and high quality monitoring lets us run lean and mean for staff, providing amazing coral care with our resources being spent on things like water changes and upgrading tech (gen5 radions on the new seedbanks). Covid caused us to keep a skeleton aquarist crew but as we come out of these crazy times we are growing and looking for PhD level supervisory research staff (as well as more educators).
 

DeniseAndy

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cancun

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Hello R2R community,

We would love to introduce ourselves to this wonderful community.

We are the Reef Institute and our mission is coral conservation through education, research and restoration. We are a small organization on a large mission to save the ocean.


A Little About Our Mission:

Scientists estimate that 50 -80% of all of the oxygen we breath comes from photosynthetic algae in the ocean. Much of this is produced specifically by the zooxanthellae algae living in the tissues of coral. No matter where you live in the world coral, affects your livelihood. For those of us on the Atlantic coast of the United States, our coastlines are directly effected by our coral reefs. The Florida Reef Tract is 365 miles long, running from Dry Tortugas National Park off the coast of the Key West, north to Martin County. As the only barrier reef along the coast of the continental US it creates not only a habitat for literally millions of animals, but a wall of protection from waves and storm surge. It is estimated that this track breaks into patch reefs, and then deep sea reefs up to the northern US. Unfortunately, our coral is suffering greatly. As one scientist once said, “We don’t even know the full extent that coral protects us and the rest of the ocean.”

This is why the Reef Institute sees the importance of protecting our coast, along with educating the next generation on how to best care for the fragile reefs is vital.

133361560_1803376016492449_4286047202688724662_n.jpg
118407194_1686086738221378_5340083943682777303_o.jpg





Our Research:

On the research side, we are a part of the Florida Coral Rescue Project. Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease, was first discovered in 2014 and along with other environmental factors, has caused Florida coral reefs to decline to only a 3- 5% survival rate. We are the first holding facility to be given corals that have intentionally survived this disease zone. Our organization is also the only non zoo, museum or university to be part of this prestigious project. Additionally we are the only holding facility for Favia fragum, and are holding one of the largest single colonies currently rescued. Our other research projects include work with artificial reefs, and a large coral monitoring project in Palm Beach County, Florida

rescued coral1.jpg
rescued coral2.jpg
rescued coral3.jpg
rescued coral4.jpg
rescued coral5.jpg
126487150_1769787903184594_465237275312891248_o.jpg




Our Focus on Education:

For us, our research and education walk hand in hand. Educating the next generation on how to best care for the fragile reefs is vital. We offer many opportunities from outdoor classrooms to distance learning online. Working with the classroom teachers, we reinforce science concepts as students discuss marine science, and see live animals while we facilitate lessons.

69616207_1354739938022728_8993670902327541760_o.jpg
133295084_1802596419903742_1150237769114139721_o.jpg




We would love for you to check out our website! We are excited to get to know hobbyists! Our board members, Executive Director, marine scientists and marine veterinarian will be on Reef2Reef to interact, learn, and help in any way we can. Some of our staff and board members are active hobbyist and are members to R2R community also. We are grateful for this community and can’t wait to get to know you! We are looking to offer some free virtual education to help you see our coral, and get to know us for both adults and kids very soon!
Welcome aboard! So glad you are with us! I am soooo excited to learn from you all! You guys have my "dream job". Maybe someday! LOL!
 

CMMorgan

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This is just amazing! I spent 5 years working at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center in Buford, Ga.
There is no greater joy than having the opportunity to empower the generations to come to welcome the responsibility of being caretakers for Mother Earth.
God bless all that you do! We'll certainly be following along.
I am on the other coast. Curious, how do you feel the cruise industry has impacted our local reefs? Have you been able to detect any short term improvements since Covid-19 put a choke hold on the cruise industry?
 

fusch13

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Hello R2R community,

We would love to introduce ourselves to this wonderful community.

We are the Reef Institute and our mission is coral conservation through education, research and restoration. We are a small organization on a large mission to save the ocean.


A Little About Our Mission:

Scientists estimate that 50 -80% of all of the oxygen we breath comes from photosynthetic algae in the ocean. Much of this is produced specifically by the zooxanthellae algae living in the tissues of coral. No matter where you live in the world coral, affects your livelihood. For those of us on the Atlantic coast of the United States, our coastlines are directly effected by our coral reefs. The Florida Reef Tract is 365 miles long, running from Dry Tortugas National Park off the coast of the Key West, north to Martin County. As the only barrier reef along the coast of the continental US it creates not only a habitat for literally millions of animals, but a wall of protection from waves and storm surge. It is estimated that this track breaks into patch reefs, and then deep sea reefs up to the northern US. Unfortunately, our coral is suffering greatly. As one scientist once said, “We don’t even know the full extent that coral protects us and the rest of the ocean.”

This is why the Reef Institute sees the importance of protecting our coast, along with educating the next generation on how to best care for the fragile reefs is vital.

133361560_1803376016492449_4286047202688724662_n.jpg
118407194_1686086738221378_5340083943682777303_o.jpg





Our Research:

On the research side, we are a part of the Florida Coral Rescue Project. Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease, was first discovered in 2014 and along with other environmental factors, has caused Florida coral reefs to decline to only a 3- 5% survival rate. We are the first holding facility to be given corals that have intentionally survived this disease zone. Our organization is also the only non zoo, museum or university to be part of this prestigious project. Additionally we are the only holding facility for Favia fragum, and are holding one of the largest single colonies currently rescued. Our other research projects include work with artificial reefs, and a large coral monitoring project in Palm Beach County, Florida

rescued coral1.jpg
rescued coral2.jpg
rescued coral3.jpg
rescued coral4.jpg
rescued coral5.jpg
126487150_1769787903184594_465237275312891248_o.jpg




Our Focus on Education:

For us, our research and education walk hand in hand. Educating the next generation on how to best care for the fragile reefs is vital. We offer many opportunities from outdoor classrooms to distance learning online. Working with the classroom teachers, we reinforce science concepts as students discuss marine science, and see live animals while we facilitate lessons.

69616207_1354739938022728_8993670902327541760_o.jpg
133295084_1802596419903742_1150237769114139721_o.jpg




We would love for you to check out our website! We are excited to get to know hobbyists! Our board members, Executive Director, marine scientists and marine veterinarian will be on Reef2Reef to interact, learn, and help in any way we can. Some of our staff and board members are active hobbyist and are members to R2R community also. We are grateful for this community and can’t wait to get to know you! We are looking to offer some free virtual education to help you see our coral, and get to know us for both adults and kids very soon!
Welcome to r2r...
 

Morbo

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Welcome to R2R! Teaching the kids is a great way to go; too late to change the minds of a lot of older folk. Learn 'em while they are young and soaking up the knowledge.
 

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