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The National Coral Reef Monitoring Program begins “Puerto Rico” Phase

Cephalopholis fulva (coney) juvenile. Photo credit: Hector Ruiz of HJR Reefscaping

Cephalopholis fulva (coney) juvenile. Photo credit: Hector Ruiz of HJR Reefscaping

This summer, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) researchers began collecting data on coral reefs around the island of Puerto Rico to help local natural resource managers address coral reef management concerns as part of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program’s “Puerto Rico phase.”

This program collects standardized biological, physical, and socioeconomic monitoring data throughout all U.S. coral reef jurisdictions. NCCOS continued its efforts the week of July 14th, in partnership with HJR Reefscaping, by surveying 19 sites (all less than 100 feet deep) along the southeast corridor of the island, from Salinas to Punta Yeguas.

Acropora cervicornis (staghorn coral) colony. Photo credit: Hector Ruiz of HJR Reefscaping

Acropora cervicornis (staghorn coral) colony. Photo credit: Hector Ruiz of HJR Reefscaping

NCCOS Hollings Scholar, Katharine Egan, participated in the mission as a diver collecting data.  In addition, algae samples were collected for NCCOS researchers at the Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research laboratory in Beaufort, NC, investigating the toxic algae that causes ciguatera fish poisoning.

For more information, contact Randy.Clark@noaa.gov or Chris.Jeffrey@noaa.gov.

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Shorter web link for sharing: http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/news/?p=12828

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