Has Harvey Runoff Impacted Texas Coral Reefs?

October 2017: The Correa Lab investigated the impacts of freshwater runoff from Hurricane Harvey on coral reefs in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS, NW Gulf of Mexico), in conjunction with scientists from Boston University (Dr. Sarah Davies), Texas A&M University (Drs. Kathryn Shamberger and Jason Sylvan), and the University of Houston - Clear Lake (Dr. Lory Santiago-Vazquez), as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Fortunately, no mass mortality was observed from a total of three sites visited on our local Texas reefs over the course of a 5-day research cruise. Samples are currently being processed in the lab to determine whether coral microbial communities shifted in response to the low salinity waters that reached the Banks in September and October of 2017.


Correa Lab Harvey Cruise October 2017





Correa Lab participants in the Rapid FGB 2017 Cruise about to board the R/V Point Sur. From left to right: Ph.D. student Carsten Grupstra, Ph.D. student Lauren Howe-Kerr, Adrienne Correa, Undergraduate student Anna Knochel, and Undergraduate student Jordan Sims.




Ady dive entry







Adrienne headed out on a dive to collect coral and microbial samples.




riv post dive OK






Divers returning from sample collection.Lauren Cas Anna process samples









From left: Anna Knochel, Cas Grupstra, and Lauren Howe-Kerr process coral samples for downstream analyses post-dive.





Check out press on our research here:

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Low-salinity-poor-water-quality-from-Hurricane-12461793.php

https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2017/11/06/248700/harveys-impact-extends-as-far-as-some-coral-reefs/

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/10/harvey-freshwater-gulf-of-mexico/543408/

https://www.axios.com/freshwater-runoff-from-hurricanes-may-harm-coral-reefs-2498148567.html

http://news.rice.edu/2017/10/13/harvey-runoff-menaces-texas-coral-reefs-2/

http://news.rice.edu/2017/10/30/no-mass-die-off-observed-at-flower-garden-banks/

© Adrienne Simoes Correa 2016