Video Observation and Recording of recent Staghorn Coral Die-off Event


SeaKeepers Vessel DISCOVERY
Miami, Florida
November 13, 2023

Research Team

  • Shelby Thomas
  • Shireen Rahimi
  • Bianca Mendoza-Routt

Project Overview

The purpose of this outing was to gather videography footage for a film which will show the degradation of a coral reef over the period of one year. This film will create awareness and educate the community and policymakers about the current crisis Florida reefs are experiencing.

Duration of Project

1 Year

Expedition Summary

In November of 2023, The International SeaKeepers Society took Shelby Thomas of Ocean Rescue Alliance International, Dr. Shireen Rahimi of Lightpalace Productions, and Bianca Mendoza-Routt of the University of Miami (and Knauss Fellowship recipient) to Yung’s Reef, just southeast of Key Biscayne. This, reef has experienced a recent total mortality die-off of its staghorn corals. This reef was also a site where a lab from the University of Miami performed coral restoration efforts. Although these efforts were initially successful, the environmental parameters in south Florida waters created a massive bleaching event in the Summer of 2023, which eventually lead to the death of the restored corals as well. Shireen, equipped with professional video equipment, filmed much of the decimated corals. This footage will be included in a film and documentary, which will show the progression of a dying reef over a one-year period.


While video footage and photographs can provide observational data and a visual baseline for what a reef looks like at a particular point in time, this footage will also serve to bring awareness and educate the community and local policy makers so that hopefully, we can help mitigate the damage that is being caused by environmental changes.


Yung's Reef, Miami, Florida