The Florida Keys and Key West are coral islands protected by gorgeous coral reefs, home to diverse marine life. Conservation is key to keeping the reefs thriving.

One of the most important conservation efforts is being led at Mote’s International Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration in the Lower Keys. Mote and other research labs around the Florida Keys are where pioneering work is being done to help troubled coral reefs around the world recover and survive as the earth deals with a changing environment.

“We pioneered a method called micro-fragmentation and it’s where we cut coral into small pieces and it accelerates their growth, so it makes it grow fifty to sixty times faster than it would naturally in the wild,” said Allison Delashmit.

Another unique way marine life is being rescued is at The Turtle Hospital.

“The Turtle Hospital has been rescuing, rehabilitating, and returning sea turtles to the wild for over 36 years,” said Bette Zirkelbach, Manager at The Turtle Hospital.

The hospital is open for tours year-round so you can see how sea turtles are cared for before being released.

Experience how marine life is thriving. Visit fla-keys.com to plan your vacation now. The Florida Keys and Key West are now just a short direct flight away from Nashville on Allegiant Air.