Photo: Ben Hicks
Moving from the shallower ecosystems to the deeper environments, we come to the coral reef habitat. This 20,000-gallon coral reef aquarium provides a glimpse into the habitat and organisms you could find diving in 30’ to 90’ of water in Palm Beach County. Did you know Florida has the third largest barrier reef in the world? The reef is built by coral, an animal that has symbiotic algae living within the tissue that gives the coral its color and food. Unfortunately, when the coral is stressed, often from rising seawater temperatures, it will expel that algae in a process known as coral bleaching. Many different stressors are contributing to the decline of coral reefs worldwide. Please do your part by enjoying this habitat while wearing a reef-safe sunscreen and reducing your carbon footprint at home.