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The Great Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States. It is the third largest coral barrier reef system in the world next to the Great barrier Reef and the Belize Barrier Reef. It forms a great arc around the Florida Keys, about 4 miles wide, aa it extends 170 miles long.
The Florida Reef exhibits signs of stress and deterioration. Sadly, threats to the well being of the corals include fisheries, human development, and pollution. The major threat to corals, however, is global climate change, and in particular, temperature extremes leading to bleaching and increased susceptibility to disease.