NPS photo by Thomas M. Strom

Convoy Point

A Doubled-edged Threat

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Not Just Rising Seas

Human-caused climate change is driving sea level to rise, but that is not its only impact to Biscayne National Park. For Biscayne’s precious underwater coral reefs, climate change is changing the chemical make-up of the water through ocean acidification.

See how ocean acidification affects our national parks from coast to coast.

Ocean Acidification: Where Will All of the Seashells Go?

Coral Reef Species

At Risk

An underwater view shows a spiny lobster on the sandy ocean floor near some coral.

Ocean acidification affects the spiny lobster’s ability to build its hard protective shell.

About a dozen reef fish and two snorkelers swim over a cluster of elk horn coral.

In acidic oceans, stony corals, like this elkhorn coral, cannot grow their shells and exoskeletons, reducing growth and potentially leading to die-offs.

An underwater view shows a reef fish that appears to have a bluish-white vertically flattened white body with a vertical black stripe through its eye and yellow fins.

Within Biscayne, over 300 types of fish depend on coral reefs. This spotfin butterfly fish feeds directly on coral polyps. Reef fish survival is at risk as coral reefs decline. (Photo by Kara Wall)

A sea turtle rests near some coral.

Sea turtles feed on reef-dwelling plants and invertebrates. As coral reefs decline, sea turtle food is reduced.

Act Now!

Both sea level rise and ocean acidification are a result of human actions, like burning fossil fuels. Find out what you can do to reduce your contribution to climate change.