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BioBay Conservation at the Trust

The VCHT continues to do weekly sampling for plankton abundance, water quality and nutrient monitoring in the Bioluminescent Bay. Recently, sampling activities have expanded to include an initial evaluation of the state of the corals surrounding the bay and within the Natural Reserve. The coral project focuses on three reefs in the Reserve and three other reefs as control sites. This evaluation includes identification of the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease, habitat and species observations, area measurements, and GPS coordinates,along with findings, and recommendations.

La Asamblea Legislativa de Puerto Rico aportó los fondos para el seguimiento de los corales. Una colaboración con la Sociedad de Ambiente Marino (SAM) proporcionó apoyo logístico y asistencia de campo de científicos de renombre mundial expertos en corales que capacitaron al personal en las evaluaciones y valoraciones de los corales. Buscamos fondos para continuar con esta colaboración a fin de crear capacidad para las iniciativas sobre corales en la comunidad, iniciar la propagación de corales y el monitoreo de corales.

The Legislature of Puerto Rico provided the funds for the coral monitoring. A collaboration with SAM (Sociedad Ambiente Marino - Marine Environment Society) provided logistical support and field assistance of world-renowned coral scientists, who trained staff in coral evaluations and assessments. We are seeking funds to continue this collaboration to build capacity for coral initiatives within the community, initiate coral propagation, and coral monitoring programs.

Trust staff continue their collaboration with the University of Maryland researcher, Dr. Kathleen Cusick, in her DNA analysis of Pyrodinium bahamense, which is well known as the bioluminescence that lights up the bays in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Trust staff also continue to provide support and, on occasions, samples for a University of Puerto Rico program to identify a luminescent fire worm species present in Puerto Mosquito.

The VCHT recently collaborated on the production of a short CNN Español video highlighting the bay and the work the Trust is doing to protect this natural wonder. Watch it here!



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