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But in the past few years, something has been targeting these corals. Off Virginia Key, in Miami-Dade County, corals were showing "small circular or irregular patches of white, exposed skeleton devoid of tissue," explains Dr. From there, the tissue would slough off, leaving the stark white skeleton exposed until algae colonized it. The disease, he explains, "radiates across the colony and outward.

This spells trouble for the reefs, and for the creatures and people who depend on them. The reefs of the Florida Keys provide food and recreational opportunities for residents and vacationers alike, and they can protect coastal communities since they serve as a buffer for hurricanes and other storms.

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So as Joanna Walczak, southeast regional administrator at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection puts it, "this is an all hands on deck situation, requiring an unprecedented effort and response. Partners from universities, nonprofits, and government agencies have joined Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to understand the disease and how it can be stopped. From time to time, corals — like any other animal — become susceptible to diseases and pathogens. But stony coral tissue loss disease is proving to be unprecedented in terms of its range, duration, and deadliness for corals.

Since , the disease has spread over square miles, and nearly half of the stony coral species found on the Florida Reef Tract have been affected. That includes the primary reef-building species in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, as well as five species that are listed under the Endangered Species Act. And this disease is often deadly, with a mortality rate of 66 to percent. The cause of the disease is still unknown, but evidence points to a bacterial pathogen that is transmitted by touch and water circulation.

Not all reef-building corals are susceptible. Two of the most-recognized and also among the most endangered species — staghorn and elkhorn coral — are not impacted. Additionally, not all susceptible species within the disease zone are affected, suggesting some may be more resilient. A disease like this requires a multi-pronged approach, with scientists working both to understand what the disease is and how they may be able to treat it.

One step in the response is surveying: researchers need to know what kinds of corals are most affected by stony coral tissue loss disease and where affected corals are. Scientists are tracking where the disease is spreading, how many corals have been infected, how badly those corals are injured, and what impacts the disease is having on the broader ecosystem. There is some good news. Coral is not a single animal, but rather a colony made up of thousands of identical, interconnected individuals. That means that if part of a colony dies, the parts that survive can continue growing.

Additionally, researchers are taking tissue samples to identify potential pathogens and how the disease is impacting corals. And by tracking environmental conditions like water temperature, water quality, and sedimentation, researchers hope to evaluate whether these factors may be influencing how susceptible to disease the Florida Keys corals are. Using antiseptics like chlorine and broad-spectrum antibiotics, scientists have been working to halt the spread of the disease. These measures are particularly crucial for corals like pillar coral, which is near extinction in Florida.

With targeted delivery systems, these treatments should not impact the broader ecosystem, and researchers are carefully monitoring treatment sites. Scientists have also created gene banks for pillar corals, and are working to expand this effort to other species. These banks preserve key genetic individuals of these species so that later, when a treatment has been found for the disease or it has subsided naturally, the corals could be propagated and transplanted along the reef.

These and other experimental techniques may help preserve the reef in the face of this disease. Although some coral species within Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary are suffering, the sanctuary remains an incredible place to visit and explore. I don't know what was different about this book compared with the previous 5, but this one had me pretty engaged from beginning to end!

I think the characters are growing on me a bit more and that is both a good thing and a bad thing. At this point, characters who have been around since the beginning could be the murderer! Between the victims and the killers this town is going to be a ghost town soon!

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View 1 comment. May 10, Mary rated it really liked it Shelves: mystery. I have said this before and I'll say it again. I want to live here. And be friends with Nell and Birdie and Cass and knit at Izzy's yarn store. Even with the diminishing number of townspeople a substantial portion are murderers and, of course, some of the remaining townspeople are murder victims , this is a town I could retire to.

Feb 04, Leah rated it liked it. This one takes place during the summer and involves two mysteries. I like the theft mystery better than the murder mystery. I would have liked this more if the theft storyline had been the only mystery. The setting, food, and knitting are still wonderful, and I still like the Seaside Knitters. Jan 03, Deb Sharp rated it it was amazing. Another great book in this awesome series.

Jun 18, Nancy Narma rated it it was amazing.

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This only caused more fury, especially from pushy Councilwoman; Beatrice Scaglia and burly construction company co-owner; Davey Delaney, who both wanted the land so badly, they would do almost anything to get it. Finn protected his property like one would a precious jewel and fought off trespassers and vagrants who hoped to find goods of value within the run-down dwelling he called home. Meanwhile, Birdie receives unexpected company and a surprise. Finn watched over her like a china doll and taught her many things, like one would a daughter.

Gabby was a fast learner and game for anything and they became cherished friends. Nick Marietti is a puzzlement in himself and arrived at Sea Harbor with his own batch of secrets, melded with lies. But why?? Did Finn kill someone and his death was one of revenge?

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Did she have a hand in the crime? Will she use her feminine wiles to achieve her goals?

Perhaps having to share it with someone as unscrupulous as she? Or was it the work of Davey Delaney, hoping to prove his worth to his Father? Perhaps it was an act of cunning by Beatrice Scaglia, hoping to acquire the property and win over the voters in her bid for re-election.

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Maybe it was the secretive Nick Marietti? As much as I thought I had this figured out a couple of times, Ms.

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Goldenbaum placed a few puzzling curves in the seaport road. The Author has also included the directions for the knitted purple cardigan that Nell makes for Gabby. I also encourage you to check out the patterns, etc. I loved this book and am looking forward to reading more of Ms. I do want to hear more about Gabby and the Seaside Knitters in the future—Bet you will too!

Fatal Stretch: A Nick and Sarah Mystery by James H Littlefield ·

Nancy Narma Feb 26, Emily Cullen rated it really liked it. Reclusive fisherman Finnegan owns a large chunk of unkept land that he refuses to sell, and when his body is found by one of the "Seaside Knitters" the other three ladies seek out the real killer. I really enjoy this cozy mystery series. Great stories, well defined characters and food and atmosphere that will want you to vacation in this Massachusetts fictional seaside town!

Dec 16, Ruth rated it really liked it. I was thrilled to find two books in this series that I hadn't read. We are back in Sea Harbor with the usual cast of characters. I love the descriptions of the times that the friends are together and the food that they eat. It is enjoyable to read about the shops and eating establishments in the town. Gabby, Birdie's granddaughter becomes a main character in this book as Birdie learns that her husband, Joe had had a child out of wedlock.

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As usual, a person turns up murdered in this sweet little t I was thrilled to find two books in this series that I hadn't read. As usual, a person turns up murdered in this sweet little town and the ladies want it solved so that they can move on into summer at peace. I was almost a third of the way through the book before the murder took place!

It was not difficult to figure out who going to be murdered but to guess the murderer was something else. I did not have it figured out until page out of !