Report Offers Insight in to the Coral Reef Ecosystems of La Parguera, Puerto Rico
A new report by scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and partners provides managers with a comprehensive characterization of the fish and benthic communities of southwestern Puerto Rico, primarily within the La Parguera Natural Reserve. The report, entitled Coral reef ecosystems of Reserva Natural de La Parguera (Puerto Rico): Spatial and temporal patterns in fish and benthic communities (2001-2007), presents analysis of a long-term data set that is intended to provide essential baseline biological information to support decision making for future resource management. The reserve is a multiuse area that spans the continental shelf, from the extensive mangrove forests fringing the shoreline to the complex shelf edge coral reefs that support a diverse and productive fish community. The coral reef ecosystem of La Parguera supports a locally important fishery, as well as recreational activities such as boating, snorkeling and diving. The project is a component of NOAA’s Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Project of NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program and was conducted through an ongoing multi-agency collaboration between NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the University of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Government’s Department of Natural and Environmental Resources.