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Florida Aquarium

STEVE NEWBORN/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

The Florida Aquarium in Tampa has announced plans to reopen to the public on May 15.

Coral resembling a brain sits at the bottom of the ocean.
The Florida Aquarium / The Florida Aquarium

When it comes to finding a proper mate, Florida’s ridged cactus corals have the odds stacked against them. Between rising water temperatures, coastal pollution, and disease they’re practically doomed from the start.

But marine biologists at Tampa’s Florida Aquarium are trying to turn the tides in the coral’s favor by learning how to breed them in captivity.  

This week on Florida Matters, we share some of our favorite discussions about plants, animals and environmental challenges facing our state.

Come Monday, a national consortium of environmental groups will begin a major effort to transplant coral to South Florida's reefs.

The project is helmed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its National Ocean Service. But it wouldn't be possible without Tampa's Florida Aquarium, which earlier this year became the first to successfully induce Atlantic coral to spawn in a laboratory.

The Florida Aquarium recently announced they had induced Atlantic coral to spawn in a laboratory for the first time.
Florida Aquarium

Florida's coral reefs are in trouble. Scientists say they've been declining for decades.

But researchers have very recently come up with some exciting results that they say show promise in restoring these beautiful and important marine communities.

Keri O'Neil
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

A bayside laboratory in Apollo Beach is ground zero for an attempt to preserve Florida's coral reefs, which are dying at an alarming rate.

Coral Ark
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Divers were busy in early April transplanting coral grown in the Tampa Bay area to stressed-out reefs in South Florida and The Florida Keys. This unprecedented effort revolves around genetics.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

With Gasparilla Pirate Fest invading Tampa Saturday, there are concerns about what happens after the parade to the beads that pirates hand out.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

“Oooooh, a shark! Look! That's the one that ate Nemo!"

Keriann Roque ran up to the glass where she pointed out a shark swimming in the tank a few feet above her head. She gasped as it circled around to swim closer. The 12 year old was at the Florida Aquarium for a summer camp field trip.

She said learning more about sharks has made her less afraid of them.

Photo courtesy csb.gov

It's been nearly five years since the explosion and oil spill on the BP oil rig Deepwater Horizon. On Monday, a diverse group of environmentalists got together to talk about the lingering environmental effects.

Leaders from the Florida Wildlife Federation held a news conference at the Florida Aquarium to propose using potential BP settlement money for Gulf restoration projects. The speakers represented local fishermen, coastal residents and environmental experts from around the area.

Watch: Florida Aquarium Debuts Madagascar Exhibit

Mar 3, 2014
The Florida Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium opened a new exhibit to patrons on Saturday: Journey to Madagascar.

The exhibit is home to ringed-tail lemurs, hissing cockroaches and an Indian Ocean coral reef aquarium with fish that can be found off the coast of the African island. 

Yoselis Ramos

The Florida Aquarium in downtown Tampa is getting a facelift. Mayor Bob Buckhorn is attending the ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the new Stingray Beach exhibit tonight. .

Sand, shore birds, a boardwalk, and stingrays. It's the closest you can get to actually being on a beach. Stringray Beach is the latest expansion to the Florida Aquarium.

Carol and Barney Barnett - members of the family that founded the Publix Supermarket chain - have donated $1 million for series of new classrooms at the Florida Aquarium.

It will be called the Carol and Barney Barnett Learning Center—part of the Aquarium’s "Rising Tides Campaign," which aims to raise $15 million in donations.