Wilfredo Lee, File/AP

The world's third-largest barrier reef, along the Florida Keys, is in imminent danger from climate change, The Washington Post reports. The economy in the Keys faces a direct threat as a result.

Only 10% of the 360-mile-long Florida Reef Tract contains living coral today. In 2014 and 2015, the reefs experienced massive bleaching events — when heat stress alters the key metabolic functions of corals, ultimately killing them. Scientists believe that by 2020, the reefs will experience bleaching events annually as the water temperatures continue to rise.

The Florida Keys' economy is dependent on tourism and a healthy reef. Nearly 4 million people visit yearly, fueling a $2.7 billion economy centered on the coral reef ecosystem, according to Monroe County data. The tourism industry accounts for over half the region's jobs.

What's being done to save the reefs? The Coral Restoration Foundation is implanting endangered corals across the reef. The foundation's science program manager explained to The Post that after six months of monitoring them in nurseries, the coral can be taken to the reefs. It remains to be seen if the implanted species can withstand the imminent climate change.

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Podcasts

Facebook boycott organizers share details on their Zuckerberg meeting

Facebook is in the midst of the largest ad boycott in its history, with nearly 1,000 brands having stopped paid advertising in July because they feel Facebook hasn't done enough to remove hate speech from its namesake app and Instagram.

Axios Re:Cap spoke with the boycott's four main organizers, who met on Tuesday with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other top Facebook executives, to learn why they organized the boycott, what they took from the meeting, and what comes next.

Boycott organizers slam Facebook following tense virtual meeting

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Civil rights leaders blasted Facebook's top executives shortly after speaking with them on Tuesday, saying that the tech giant's leaders "failed to meet the moment" and were "more interested in having a dialogue than producing outcomes."

Why it matters: The likely fallout from the meeting is that the growing boycott of Facebook's advertising platform, which has reached nearly 1000 companies in less than a month, will extend longer than previously anticipated, deepening Facebook's public relations nightmare.

Steve Scalise PAC invites donors to fundraiser at Disney World

Photo: Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s PAC is inviting lobbyists to attend a four-day “Summer Meeting” at Disney World's Polynesian Village in Florida, all but daring donors to swallow their concern about coronavirus and contribute $10,000 to his leadership PAC.

Why it matters: Scalise appears to be the first House lawmakers to host an in-person destination fundraiser since the severity of pandemic became clear. The invite for the “Summer Meeting” for the Scalise Leadership Fund, obtained by Axios, makes no mention of COVID-19.