Mystery Sponge-Killing Disease Now Seen From Palm Beach to Lower Keys
From Sombrero Reef down in the Keys to the waters of West Palm Beach, red barrel sponges are disintegrating at worrisome rates. The culprit is unknown, and state scientists are busy trying to figure out just how widespread the disease outbreak is.
"We are trying to get a handle on the extent of how widespread the disease outbreak is right now," says Rob Ruzicka, program manager at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. "As far as we can tell, this is the largest event we've seen so far, at least in Florida."
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