Stifling hot weather in the territory is not only raising ocean temperatures but leading to a potential increase in coral bleaching, according to the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources, in a statement this week.

Coral, which generally grow in water temperatures ranging from 23-29 degrees Celsius, can stress and turn pale, or bleach, when temperatures venture past 30 degrees Celsius, around 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

— Contact A.J. Rao at 340-714-9104 or email