Cuba, Florida to team up for reef research

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APOLLO BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — Congresswoman Kathy Castor spent Tuesday morning at the Florida Aquarium’s Center for Conservation.

The visit is in advance of a visit by Cuban officials to the Florida Aquarium facility in Apollo Beach. The Center for Conservation is researching methods to populate corals for restoration of Florida Keys Reefs.

The Florida Aquarium says the research focuses on questions of health assessment, species selection, genetic identification, system design, gamete collection and culture, and drug treatments for common coral diseases.

Castor’s office says Cuba’s reefs are some of the most pristine in the world and offer strong insight as to what fosters a healthy coral reef ecosystem. Florida Aquarium representatives visited Cuba recently to learn more about environmental protection.

Cuban officials are expected to visit the Florida Aquarium in August. Castor is expected to speak on Cuban and U.S. relations following her visit to the research facility.

Castor visited Cuba last February and met with Cuban officials to learn about growing private businesses in the country.Florida and the Tampa Bay area have seen many changes since the relationship between the United States and Cuba has improved-

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