Case: Coral Cases,
Date of incident: October 25, 1989.
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Florida.
Overview: On October 25, 1989, the oil field supply vessel M/V Alec Owen Maitland
ran aground on a Federally-protected coral reel within the Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary, managed and protected by NOAA in cooperation with
the State of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection. The incident
resulted in significant injury to the reef substrate and resident marine
organisms. The majority of the coral colonies at the site, as well as numerous
sponges and sea fans, were destroyed by the grounding and attempts to free the
ship from the reef's surface. Over time, the resulting holes in the surface
eroded into one large crater that threatened to undermine surrounding