Published: Sep 27, 2012 8:15 AM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - Former Vice President Al Gore is slated to speak at the opening of Nova Southeastern University's $50 million coral reef research center. The South Florida center will focus on protecting coral reefs around the world and will cultivate coral species in nurseries for re-introduction to the ocean. Florida is home to most of the nation's coral reefs. Nova received a $15 million dollar federal stimulus grant to help fund the center. University officials said the center has created 22 new academic jobs, 300 construction jobs and will employ 50 graduate students. Researchers will also study the effects of climate change on reefs and examine their ability to recover from damage. U.S. Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz will also attend Thursday's event.