COAST's interdisciplinary team focuses on science of managing of our threatened coastal and marine ecosystems.

Seagrass & Coral Reef Health

Extensive seagrass beds and coral reefs are studied and preserved for great conservational, recreational, commercial, ecological, historical, scientific, educational, and aesthetic values. Studies focus on both natural and human impacts on the long-term health of coral reefs and seagrass to seek solutions for their preservation and protection.


A study conducted by Dr. Lapointe’s team was the first to show that the nitrogen fueling red tides off Lee County’s Sanibel Island in 2005 was pollution caused by human activities, and not from African dust-generated nitrogen.

Focus on Science

COAST does not make political statements. While our research is often quoted by people on both sides of controversial issues, our allegiance is to science. COAST’s reputation and ethics will not be compromised by making political statements. In an era when politics often interferes with solving environmental problems, our role is to provide an impartial voice that advocates for sound science. The answer to our problems is found in looking at evidence -- cause and effect -- to uncover what nature is telling us. As a result of this stance, community leaders and decision-makers often seek our input to make crucial water quality improvements.