Palm Beach County’s coastline is uniquely situated next to the Gulf Stream Current, which brings warm, clear water from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea to within just a few miles of shore. Not only does it strongly influence south Florida’s climate, it provides conditions that are ideal for sustaining diverse coral reef communities, which have become extremely popular among SCUBA divers for their unique mixture of tropical and sub-tropical marine species. Hundreds of fish and thousands of marine invertebrate species can be found here, as well as impressive annual migrations of sea turtles, sharks, and marine mammals; all of which are treasures to Florida’s natural heritage.
These important habitats require careful stewardship. Their close proximity to shore provides for convenient access for divers, but also heightens the negative effects of urban and recreational activities. Water quality, heavy recreational use, invasive species, climate change, and many other concerns must be addressed to keep our reefs healthy and thriving. The Palm Beach Zoo is committed to the long-term conservation of Florida’s marine environment, and is doing it’s part to support valuable research and conservation programs that inspire people to act on behalf of Palm Beach County’s remarkable coral reef communities.