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There's no better trip south than the one that takes you into Florida's playground. It's a place where the wake from vessels can take your mind into paradise and noone knows that better than Captain Karl Hamp. For 30 years he's had the best view from the office but has seen the worst of what is in the water.

"It got so bad I actually stopped diving in the mid 80's because our coral reefs were dying so bad, it was depressing," says Hamp.

He's back with a mission to find out what killed all the coral. He's partnered with FAU scientist Dr. Brian Lepointe.

"I don't know anywhere in the world where we have lost coral at such a rapid rate. Today we have about 6% coral on average in the Florida Keys. That is less coral than any other reef in the wider Caribbean region," says Lepointe.

The destruction here at Looe Key serves as the best example of what happens when harmful algae invades the current year after year. This site was once the crown jewel of the Keys. A closer look reveals the truth. Coral looks completely different from 25 years ago when vibrant colors dominated.

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