An all-Dallas team of photographer L.M. Otero, video journalist Kendria LaFleur and reporter Jamie Stengle collaborated on a rare hopeful story about the world’s corals in the age of global warming. Otero, an amateur diver, pitched a visit to an unusual coral reef 100 miles off the coast of Texas. Located in deep waters and surrounded by deeper, cooler waters, the reef at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary has not suffered the bleaching damage experienced by many other reefs in the hemisphere. Scientists are working to protect the coral there, hoping that the healthy coral may be used eventually to resuscitate other more damaged reefs elsewhere. The visually stunning all-formats package used photos, video and text, and showed fish, manta rays, sharks and sea turtles swimming through brightly colored coral.
National outlets including CBS and Voice of America and The Hill used the story on their websites, and The Weather Channel did its own voiceover with Otero’s photos.