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#220035 - 12/29/05 07:37 AM Why is the reef brown?
Sailor Man Offline
I am trying to find out why much of the reef we snorkeled was a brown color? I am hoping it is just due to a recent storm churning up the sand in the shallows. I am hoping it is not due to a larger environmental problem. Can anyone enlighten me? Thanks.

#220036 - 12/29/05 07:37 PM Re: Why is the reef brown?
Caulker Resident Offline
You would need to get more specific as alot of good healthy reef is brown. Elk Horn etc. Brain coral is brownish. What color do you think a reef should be? The barrier reef is doing OK, tourism does have an impact. Their are studies done all the time. Their are alot of piles of mostly dead elk horn left from the Huricane that hit here. But I think the reef is truly beautiful and I hope it is still as such for my grandchildren.

#220037 - 12/31/05 05:20 AM Re: Why is the reef brown?
Sailor Man Offline
I guess I thought the coral would be different colors. I was recently on a sailboat trip to Caye Caulker. There was a man with us who had studied the reef 30 years ago. He remarked that it was not as beautiful as it used to be, more brown. I was wondering about the scientific explanation. I found an article that might explain it:

[This message has been edited by Sailor Man (edited 12-31-2005).]

#220038 - 12/31/05 05:35 PM Re: Why is the reef brown?
Caulker Resident Offline
I am not an expert at all on this but I do know it takes a long time for a damaged reef to regrow. Its only been 5 years since this reef was damaged by Huricane. Alot of the brightly colored fan corals probably got hurt worse. The bright corals are much more brilliant on a sunny day so that could be a factor, theirs still a remarklable display of brightly colored reef. Also sometimes our memories can be tricky. I have talked to a few scientist who have been down here studing the reef and have been told it is remarkably in good condition considering the tourist and cruise ship boom. Hope this was a little help. Mabe someone who know more will answer you.

#220039 - 12/31/05 05:40 PM Re: Why is the reef brown?
Caulker Resident Offline
I just read the link you sent. I also read a study on white pox and inquired about it. None detected here so far!!! anyway that would not make the reef more brown, it would actually make it less brown.

#220040 - 12/31/05 07:39 PM Re: Why is the reef brown?
Sailor Man Offline
I just wanted to say we had a lovely time on Caye Caulker and I personally have nothing to compare the reef to, in the past, so I don't want to be negative. I did read that UNESCO gave the Belize gov't. a high rating for trying to protect the reef and I guess that is all anyone can reasonably expect.

#220041 - 01/05/06 09:35 PM Re: Why is the reef brown?
Auxillou Beach Suites Offline
Many things affect the reef that we in Belize have no control over - like global warming for example. Some years ago coral reefs worldwide were experiencing coral bleaching (corals turning white) which is as a result of nothing we can control in our neck of the woods here.

Thankfully, they are looking much healthier these days.

Thanks and cheers,
Wendy Auxillou
Auxillou Beach Suites
Caye Caulker, Belize

#220042 - 01/06/06 05:49 AM Re: Why is the reef brown?
Sailor Man Offline
Long live the reef! We chartered a very expensive boat from TMM, then spent most of our time anchored off of Caye Caulker because we loved it so much. I posted a bunch of pictures of our trip at I want to return to Caye Caulker as soon as possible. I miss the Lazy Lizard! We did snorkel the reef twice. I guess I was hoping to see great white sharks attacking sperm whales in iridescent canyons of multicolored reef, but the manatees got in the way.

#220043 - 01/07/06 11:29 AM Re: Why is the reef brown?
Auxillou Beach Suites Offline

Am very interested to see your pics, but the link doesn't work. Would you mind double checking??

Thanks and cheers,
Wendy Auxillou
Auxillou Beach Suites
Caye Caulker, Belize

#220044 - 01/08/06 08:23 AM Re: Why is the reef brown?
Sailor Man Offline
The link didn't work because I put a period at the end of it. Sorry.
Here it is:
I am thinking of using some airline miles to get back to Caye Caulker. There is so much I didn't do: diving, manatee trip.
I really miss eating the $6 fresh lobster meals cooked by the chubby guy at the picnic table on the beach.
If I get a $10 cab ride from airport, $17 ferry ride, $40 a night place, I can do it for a couple of hundred bucks. Those hamburgers at the Sandbox were great, but if the wind is calm, long pants and socks and shoes would have kept the sand fleas at bay one night we were there.
Anyhow, I kind of wish Caye Caulker stays the way it is...I wouldn't want to see the kind of development I saw on San Pedro.

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