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Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) is considered to be one of the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean. It's a spectacular large branching coral that provides shelter to many fish such as snapper, grunts, lobster and more. It thrives in shallow water and high surge reef zones. It is fast growing and can reproduce asexually from branches that break due to strong waves. However, the once dominant shallow reef building Elkhorn Coral has suffered a severe decline from an epidemic disease. Marine scientists and researchers are continuing to monitor this area for possible environmental solutions.