Coral Fragments Flourishing: Update!



With bleaching encroaching from the bottom and a coral disease approaching from the top, this coral's in trouble
Lucky me! I sent out a message asking if anyone was going out to the cayes this week, and it turned out that Lisa was going to be returning to our coral reef restoration project at Laughing Bird to check on her nurseries and perform an overall bleaching survey. Volunteer here!

Lisa, myself, and our captain Shane happily made a long day of snorkeling for science! In the last year, an army of volunteers has planted over 4,000 fragments and excited to see most of the new coral flourishing! It was so exciting to see the healthy coral growth and fish frolicking in these new gardens! While we took digital pictures to record the growth, I also made tally marks on a slate when I spotted coral that was bleaching. Coral bleaching results when the symbiotic zooxanthellae (single celled algae) are expelled from the host coral organism due to stress, mostly due to increased water temperatures and UV exposure. There is a Belize Coral Watch Program whereby you can submit bleaching observations at any site in Belize to a central scientific database - it's a great idea and I hope to start recording observations on future dives! I really love using my underwater slate and pencil. 😊

Enjoy the pictures!

BTW, my bleaching observations are featured on the website. Contact them to get involved!

Additional photos below
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21st October 2011

so, what's really strange is it doesn't look like anything is holding the slate you're writing on in the sciencie picture - is it magical? : )

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