Reginald Beckford used to fear sharks. Today he works with the TC Reef Fund to help protect the planet's third-largest barrier reef from deadly ‘stony coral tissue loss’ disease. The Turks and Caicos Islands is the seventh Caribbean country to be affected by the disease, which appeared off Florida a decade ago. It affects more than 30 species of coral, often killing them within weeks. Reginald helps apply an antibiotic paste to sick corals. Arenthia Baker, a certified fish data scientist and divemaster, also volunteers. "People don't understand corals are animals, they're living creatures, and when they're fighting for their lives because of bleaching they're more susceptible to disease." she says. Researchers have found an effective bacterial probiotic for treating SCTLD, while Turks and Caicos is a trailblazer for research into reef restoration. As the disease is inching closer to the Panama Canal, there is a big push to keep it out of the Pacific.

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