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Teamed Up for Coral Reefs

Travel & news discussion about the Cayman Islands

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Teamed Up for Coral Reefs

Postby KarenS » Sun Jun 11, 2006 7:35 am

From Cayman Net News: "Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) and its research centre on Little Cayman are entering into a partnership with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through an international project to monitor coral reefs globally.

This project is the Integrated Coral Observing Network (ICON), and its partnership with CCMI will provide long-term data sets for Little Cayman that can be compared to all major US coral reef areas, according to information issued by CCMI.

It will also provide near real-time feedback on conditions conducive to coral bleaching, as well as other coral reef models, and provide a platform for advanced analysis of the coral reef environment in near real-time.

According to CCMI, NOAA approved Little Cayman Research Centre for the installation of an ICON Station. This will consist of an array of instruments to measure the physical and chemical characteristics of the ocean and atmosphere.

Data collected will include salinity, temperature, ultra-violet radiation penetration, water clarity, currents and weather conditions.

The release states that one of the major benefits of the ICON project is that observed long-term trends will allow local environmental managers and researchers to make better informed decisions for the reef area. Near real-time feedback is important because it allows researchers to visit a site right away to see if modeled conditions (for example bleaching and disease) are met, and also to give the coastal and coral managers a means of knowing more precisely the immediate status of the Park in question.

This helps them to make timely decisions relevant to the health of the reef. Through the CCMI/NOAA partnership, Little Cayman is now one of the international sites outside the US to be selected to have an ICON station for coral reef research."
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