Reef rehabilitation project starts on Ambergris Caye

Posted By: Marty

Reef rehabilitation project starts on Ambergris Caye - 12/23/18 10:51 AM

A reef restoration project has begun on the eastern coast of Ambergris Caye, in an attempt to replenish areas along the Barrier Reef where corals have died. The project is run under the San Pedro Tour Operators Association (SPTOA) and involves the Kids in Action Club, which certifies young divers every year. The program exposes children and adults alike to the marine environment and engages them in sustainable projects like this one. Currently, two nurseries consisting of two frames have been built and placed under the sea in front of the island, with over 100 coral plants/fragments on it. When they are mature, these corals will be moved to designated areas along the reef system.

According to Everette Anderson, Chairman of the SPTOA, the project, which started in November, is focusing on three types of coral to be rehabilitated. These are the Elk Horn, Stalk Horn, and Fused Corals. Anderson said that these corals grow fast, and within six to eight months they are expecting to relocate the new corals from the nurseries. “Every two weeks we go and clean these frames (nurseries) to remove any algae that may affect the growth of the corals,” said Anderson. “These type of corals are very fragile but very useful for the reef environment as it attracting many types of fish.” In the coming months, they expect to relocate the first mature corals to areas along the reef system where bleaching and other factors have significantly affected the reef. The project is being overseen by Marine Biologist Miguel Alamilla and Scientist Valentine Rosado.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

Posted By: Marty

Re: Reef rehabilitation project starts on Ambergris Caye - 06/21/19 05:06 PM

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San Pedro Tour Operators come to rescue the reef

This year the San Pedro Tour Operators Association initiated a coral restoration project inspired by the Fragments of Hope Coral Restoration Project founded by Lisa Carne, which has seen great success at Laughing Bird Caye in southern Belize. With local marine biologists Miguel Alamilla and Valentine Rosado providing advisory and technical support and University of Belize biology students (and island young ladies) Fara Stephany Maza and Brittney Garbutt coordinating the project, steps are underway to grow and replant elkhorn and staghorn coral. Under the tutelage of Carne, and guidance from Alamilla and Rosado, the young biologists took several trips to the reef to setup anchored PVC frames. This first site is located inside of the popular diving and snorkeling area known as Tuffy. According to Rosado, the hope is to bring this snorkel site to the level of Laughing Bird Caye and make it as popular as Hol Chan. “The Placencia project is an inspiration because Laughing Bird Caye looks amazing with high coral cover and marine life and is the direct result of their restoration efforts. We believe we can replicate that success at each of our dive/snorkel sites,” he remarked.

Once the frames were installed, healthy fragments of elkhorn and staghorn coral were collected from other areas along the reef. The team then secured the fragments onto tiles that are fastened to the PVC frame. Here the fragments will continue to grow if they take well to the frames. “A lot of effort went into site selection, nursery construction, mother-site selection, monitoring, etc. We anticipate that in about ten months-time, each fragment will grow much larger, allowing us to ‘prune them’ and take the nursery fragments to out-plant at our target restoration sites. We hope to begin planting to target restoration sites at the end of this hurricane season,” explained Rosado.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see LOTS more FANTASTIC photos in the My Beautiful Belize Blog
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Reef rehabilitation project starts on Ambergris Caye - 06/22/19 11:51 AM

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