Scientists from NOAA, NPS and USGS Collaborate to Characterize and Monitor the Health of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the Virgin Islands National Park and Monument
Biologists from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, working in collaboration with scientists from the National Park Service, NPS’s South Florida/ Caribbean Network and the U.S. Geological Survey and with support from NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, successfully completed their annual monitoring and characterization mission in and around the waters of St. John’s Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument and Virgin Islands National Park. Four scientific dive teams of 15 scientists completed 170 sites within the two-week mission. Data were collected on fish populations, habitat health, invertebrate abundance and coral disease prevalence and location. The coral disease study is being conducted in conjunction with Erinn Muller, a Nancy Foster Scholar from Florida Institute of Technology. Collaboration continues to be key in the success of this long-term project. This mission was completed safely and incident-free. For more information, visit http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/ecosystems/coralreef/reef_fish/.