Photo : Joe Marino

Reef Resilience Focus Area

Coral reef resilience is defined as the ability of a reef system to maintain key functions and processes in the face of stressors or pressures by either withstanding an impact or recovering from one when it happens. Coral reefs in southeast Florida are facing a variety of local and global stressors, including (but not limited to), poor water quality, pollution, coastal development, ocean acidification, and warming sea temperatures. Coral reef resilience is ultimately about coral reef health. Having a healthy reef helps coral communities better cope with and recover from major stress events such as storms, mass bleaching events, and coral disease outbreaks.

Photo: Andrea Whitaker (2007)

Healthy reef ecosystem in Palm Beach County.
With a variety of stressors it’s important to have the latest science and strategies to better manage for resilience in a changing climate. Part of planning for resilience includes understanding the spatial variation of these local and global stressors, identifying which actions may be effective against various stressors, and deciding where to implement priority actions to maximize resilience potential.

The Reef Resilience Focus Area consists of four programs designed to identify and understand incidents affecting southeast Florida’s reefs to better inform reef management decisions.

Photo: Nikole Ordway

SEAFAN: Southeast Florida
Action Network

Photo: Mote Marine Laboratory


Photo: Laura Kloetzer

Marine Debris Reporting and
Removal Program

Photo: Hunter Noran

Coral Disease