05 Western Sambo
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00 Western Sambo aerials
Aerial photographs from 1993. The last of the glory days for clear water and living coral in the Lower Florida Keys.
01 March 20 1997
Clear water and coral disease, the beginning of the end of these spectacular reefs.
02 May 14, 1997
The FIRST OBSERVATIONS of WHITE POX. During a vessel grounding survey dive on the east end of Western Sambo reef a strange white coral loss was observed on this elkhorn coral colony. It took several months before researchers would make it down to confirm this observation. In the meantime the disease was documented on several other reefs in the area, especially Rock Key reef.
03 May 18,1997
White Pox was first observed on the eastern section of this reef on the 14th of May. Four days later on this dive we inspect the mid reef section of Western Sambo and see that the disease is present here as well.
04 July 14, 1997
04 July 4, 1998
This series of photographs depict how disease outbreaks have infected a wide variety of coral species suggesting water pollution. While researchers split hairs about what names to give these serious outbreaks of disease and infection no action is being taken to curb pollution, local or regional. Flushing Florida Bay with agricultural runoff was a big mistake.
05 February 26, 1998
Aftermath of the 1998 Ground Hog Day gale. The damage seen here prompted Craig Quirolo to establish the worlds first elkhorn coral nursery that successfully stabilized hundreds of broken fragments of coral.
06 January 1999
Soft corals react very quickly to water born pollution. In this series of images it is clear that the reef floor is dominated by algae and the corals by disease indicating that polluted water released from the Everglades has made it to the reef. Climate change does not create algal blooms pollution does.
07 August 15, 2003
White Pox disease continues to be a problem on this reef which has been impacted by many hurricanes over the past few years. There is a shallow well injection sewer plant directly upland of this reef possibly stimulating the presence of White Pox disease on the Elkhorn coral.
08 October 2, 2000
Macro algae dominates the sea floor and is threatening the coral. Disease, stress and coral loss are evident.