Educating with Extension Newsletters

Each month, the Extension Service publishes a newsletter about its exciting programs and events both past and upcoming. See what we are doing and how you can become involved. 

For our May 2022 newsletter, we featured an article written by Shelly Krueger, Sea Grant Agent. Reports Needed for Dying Long-Spined Sea Urchins.urchin (2)

"The long-spined sea urchin Diadema antillarum is a keystone species on Florida’s Coral Reef.  Long-spined sea urchins are the lawn mowers that clean and scrape algae off the reef.  This in turn helps baby corals settle, grow, and prevents adult corals from being overgrown and killed by algae.  I have been told by long-time residents of the Florida Keys that these urchins were once so numerous that you had to use caution to avoid stepping on them and encountering a painful interaction with their spines.  Unfortunately, starting in 1983, a disease of unknown origin decimated populations of long-spined sea urchins in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Bahamas, and South Florida.  Since that time, long-spined sea urchin population have declined by more than 97%.  The importance of this species and their very low population numbers is why the possibility of a new disease outbreak is very concerning."

 To read the article, and find events and programs of the Extension Service, check out the May 2022 Newsletter!

If you, or someone you know, would like to begin receiving these newsletters, please contact UF-IFAS Monroe County Extension Services at or (305) 292-4501. 

Hard copies are available upon request.

An Equal Opportunity Institution. UF/IFAS Extension, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension. Single copies of UF/IFAS Extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth publications) are available free to Florida residents from county UF/IFAS Extension offices.