SUPERHEROES CONFIDENTIAL CODE NAME: Dolphin
SECRET IDENTITY: CLASSIFIED
Dolphin is a trophy-winning high school swimmer who was recruited by Manatee to patrol Florida’s seas and coral reefs. Her strong swimming strokes are boosted by her fauna-suit, which allows here to cruise the waters at more than 50 miles per hour. It also gives her sonar communication, so she can signal marine mammals like dolphins, manatees and whales.
Florida has extensive shallow coral reef formations near its coasts. These specialized habitats provide shelter, food and breeding sites for numerous plants and animals. The Florida Reef Tract stretches 358 miles from Dry Tortugas National Park to the St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County.
Florida’s coral reefs were created 5 – 7,000 years ago when sea levels rose after the last Ice Age. An individual colony grows just one-half inch to 7 inches a year. Corals are tiny animals that live symbiotically with microscopic plants that live within their tissues. The coral animals benefit from the sugars and oxygen that the plants provide through photosynthesis. The plants are fed by the nutrients in animal waste and are protected within the coral tissues. These tiny plants give the coral much of its beautiful color.
“Florida’s coral reefs are fragile treasures threatened by pollution, over-fishing and human contact by boaters, fishermen and divers,” Dolphin warns. “Damaged reefs take decades to recover. Let’s work together to protect all of Florida’s reefs!”
Dolphin’s SECRET ORIGIN story will appear in Florida Five #3!