Today we headed back to Amiga Island, but this was not a simple day on the beach. Today was the first day of underwater data collection. We are launching the coral reef monitoring project which will continue for the next two years. Students have learned to conduct underwater surveys of marine life, including fish, corals, and other invertebrates. Our dive team included four SCUBA divers conducting the surveys along 100 meter transect lines, and two surface snorkelers marking our positions. These initial surveys will be repeated every few months to monitor changes in species and reef over the coming year. We will be able to track positive and negative impacts on the reefs, and we hope fishing and coral restoration efforts will lead to a reef growing in biodiversity.
Other students continued to work on their snorkeling skills and explore the reefs from the beach. It is incredibly exciting to see our students trained up and active in on-going marine biology research! #jessupmarinebio