Mission to Help Determine Regulatory Criteria for Caribbean Water Quality
A team of scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist EPA’s development of biocriteria for evaluating the condition of Caribbean corals.
EPA’s goal is to develop acceptable thresholds of biological condition for corals that exist in water bodies subjected to varying levels of stress in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. These thresholds will be used as a tool for regulating uses of coastal waters under the Clean Water Act by comparing coral metrics across study areas and geographic regions, and relating the measures to water quality and human influences.
During the week-long cruise from December 1-8, 2007, NCCOS scientists trained their EPA counterparts in conducting visual reef fish surveys, compared benthic assessment methods, and provided information on characterizing contaminants in coral reef ecosystems.