Research, Monitoring and Restoration of Reefs faced with Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) in The Bahamas. Having spread to neighboring Caribbean nations, SCTLD was first detected in The Bahamas in 2019. It has now been confirmed to have infected some of the reef building corals off the coast of Grand Bahama, including reefs within the Peterson Cay National Park as well as Lucayan National Park. The epicenter of the disease locally is less than 40 miles away, near Freeport. Stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) is “assaulting” the country for more than two years, killing coral across the 700-island archipelago and leaving reef destruction on the scale of 200 million dead and dying. Latest findings (June 2022) show SCTLD has now infected at least 175 square miles of the nation’s coral reefs to date and has already driven local extinctions of key reef-building species.
Most recently, SCTLD was discovered in the northern Exumas, leading scientists to worry about the fate of the world’s oldest land and sea park and flagship of the Bahamas National Protected Area System.