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NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Characterization Efforts Expand in the U.S. Virgin Islands

reef fish

Colorful reef fish swim among the corals in St. Croix. Photo: NCCOS

The 2010 Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Project (CCREMP) surveys in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands mark an expansion of NOAA coral reef ecosystem characterization efforts into the East End Marine Park (EEMP).

Established in 2003, the EEMP encompasses a mosaic of fringing reefs, mangrove forests, seagrass beds and nesting sites for endangered sea turtles. Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and partnering organizations gathered data aimed at evaluating the health of corals, fish and invertebrates. A total of 196 sites were successfully surveyed throughout the study area, which included Buck Island Reef National Monument and St. Croix

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