NOAA has issued warnings not to fish,dive, swim or boat near the East Flower Garden Bank in the Gulf of Mexico. The advisories were issued because it is not know if the pathogens could potentially affect humans.
The reef is part of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, about 100 miles off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas. Federal scientists say a massive die-off is taking place on that coral reef.
NOAA is reporting unprecedented numbers of dying corals, sponges, sea urchins, brittle stars, clams and other invertebrates. Sport divers discovered dead animals Monday, along with hazy water and patches of white mats coating corals and sponges. The divers alerted nearby federal scientists who were doing annual monitoring work on the same reef.
Some theories unrelated to NOAA study speculated the possibility the infamous BP oil spill of 2010 could be causing the problems in the Gulf of Mexico.
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