Around the world, once healthy and pristine coral reefs are dying off at an alarming rate. Intimately tied to the health of coral reefs are local communities who are utterly dependant upon marine resources for their livelihoods. Pollutants and human impacts such as uncontrolled tourism pose a clear threat to corals. There is an urgent need for ongoing research into the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs) to conserve these critical coral reef habitats.
Students and faculty at The School for Field Studies Center for Marine Resource Management in the Turks and Caicos Islands help monitor the condition of the spectacular coral reefs, both inside and outside the MPAs, using scientifically rigorous monitoring techniques. Based on their field observations, students assess the validity of indicator species for reef health, the effects of diver tourism, marine species interactions, the impact of coral diseases and many other issues related to marine natural resource harvesting, conservation and monitoring. Your gift will sponsor an hour-long research dive by providing a SCUBA tank, air, weights and research vessel for an SFS student.