Mote says dispersants used in Deepwater spill huts baby corals

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Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 4:18 pm | Updated: 1:12 pm, Wed Jul 31, 2013.

SARASOTA - The dispersants used to help break up the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill can hurt baby corals.

That is the finding of a new study released by Mote Marine Lab.

Scientists discovered coral larvae, which drift in the water and eventually settle to form reefs, are likely to die when exposed to the dispersants used during a spill.

While the Deepwater spill didn't impact the Florida Keys, home of the world's third largest barrier reef, Mote scientists looked at the potential harm an oil spill and dispersants could have on coral reefs there.

According to this study, the impact would also be devastating.

Scientists fear corals in the Florida Keys may be threatened as oil exploration continues off the northern coast of Cuba.

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