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Earth Day: Channel 9 visits Florida Coral Rescue Center

ORLANDO, Fla. — You may know that the Florida coral reef lies along the Florida Keys and South Florida, but did you know that some also live in the middle of Orlando?

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In honor of Earth Day, certified meteorologist George Waldenberger visited the Florida Coral Rescue Center, which protects these coral species, and saw how they may help solve the recent coral bleaching event our reefs are experiencing.

In all of the 524 corals in this facility, they are growing much faster in these ideal conditions, doubling in size in roughly five years.

The Florida Coral Rescue Center started as an ark to house the only animal that is actually an animal, vegetable, and mineral.

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The “mineral” is the reef structure, the “animal” is an anchored polyp, and it takes in algae, serving as this organism’s “vegetable” component, creating extra energy.

The algae create vibrant colors; the polyps would be clear without it. When water temperatures get warm, the algae don’t work together well.

After last summer’s bleaching event with South Florida’s record-warm waters, corals that survived may possess special traits.

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