By Alyssa Dillon, Office of Response and Restoration
As the Earth’s atmosphere and ocean continue to warm under the global threat of climate change, the future of coral reefs looks bleaker than ever before. With rising temperatures comes an increase in mass coral bleaching events, infectious disease outbreaks, and the process known as ocean acidification. Climate change not only affects the overall health of corals, it also impacts their resiliency. Changes to the frequency and intensity of tropical storms — another side effect of climate change — lead to storm seasons that do a massive amount of damage to coral reefs.
Every month our Emergency Response Division provides scientific expertise and services to the U.S. Coast Guard on everything from running oil spill trajectories to model where the spill may spread, to possible effects on wildlife and fisheries, and estimates on how long the oil may stay in the environment.
This month OR&R responded to 10 incidents, including oil discharges, sunken vessels, and hazardous material releases ...