Climate change is hurting coral worldwide. But these reefs off the Texas coast are thriving

Bleached coral is visible next to healthy coral during a scuba dive Sept. 15, 2023at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, off the coast of Galveston, Texas. The sanctuary had some moderate bleaching this year but nothing like the devastation that hit other reefs during the summer’s record-breaking heat. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Fish swim around brain coral deep below ocean at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. Sheltered in a deep, cool habitat far from shore, the reefs in the Flower Garden Banks boast a stunning amount of coral coverage. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

OFF THE COAST OF GALVESTON, Texas— Divers descending into azure waters far off the Texas coast dip below a horizon dotted with oil and gas platforms into an otherworldly landscape of undersea mountains crusted with yellow, orange and pink coral as far as the eye can see.