Extreme ocean heat off Florida has ebbed. But for marine life, the danger remains

Corals have received too much heat too early in the summer, researchers say

A sea turtle swims past clumps of elkhorn coral that have been bleached to a bright white color by environmental stress.

A sea turtle swims past a patch of bleached elkhorn coral at Alligator Reef in the Florida Keys on July 24.

Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

In late July, a fierce ocean heat wave ratcheted up temperatures in Florida’s coastal waters to unprecedented highs. One buoy bobbing in shallow, turbid Manatee Bay logged a measurement of 38.3˚