During the 2013 summer Dr. Don Behringer's research lab from the University of Florida travelled down to the Florida Keys to complete 4 months of scientific field work. One of the main focuses was the Sponge Restoration project that targeted hard-bottom communities in southeast Florida and the Florida Keys with the aim of determining human and environmental impact patterns, and the potential for sustainable use or restoration. Recurring algal blooms in the Florida Bay have devastated much of the sponge population that serve as a critical habitat for the area. Many ecologically and economically valuable organisms such as spiny lobsters, stone crabs, snappers, and groupers rely on this habitat for their early ontogeny. Here are a few clips captured by UF intern Shaun Hamilton of our time at the Goshen Lab in Layton, Florida.

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