Researchers are stepping in to protect and try to save thousands of corals in the Florida Keys.
Over the past week, researchers have relocated corals from the Keys into aquariums.
The University of South Florida shared a video with WINK News, showing corals and the process they are taking to protect them.
When water temperatures get too warm, corals can become stressed. They expel algae and turn white. That process is known as bleaching and can cause corals to die off.
Last week, several scientists from universities and the state got together in the Florida Keys to relocate corals from reefs to the sea-water system at Florida Institute of Oceanography’s Keys Marine Laboratory.
USF told WINK News some will be housed in land-based systems for months, and some will become part of land-based breeding programs.
Once the historically high-water temperatures cool, the coral will be returned to their off-shore nurseries.
The reefs are vital to the aquatic systems in Southwest Florida because they house all sorts of marine life and buffer the coast against storms.
The corals are reattached to reefs using epoxy, cement, zip ties and nails.