[Coral-List] Bleaching report from Salt River, St. Croix

Jim Hendee Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov
Wed Oct 1 20:40:54 EDT 2003

Following are some bleaching observations made by Dave Ward, caretaker
of the CREWS station at Salt River Bay National Historical Park and
Ecological Preserve, north side of St. Croix, USVI.  The bleaching
Agaricia he refers to in the picture is the one viewable on the Coral
Cam at a http://www.coral.noaa.gov/crw/cam.shtml.  The historical data,
including sea temperature, salinity, PAR and UV data will be available
via the CREWS site soon; in the mean time, the daily raw data and
automated CREWS bleaching alerts are available at the CREWS/Coral Reef
Watch Web site (see above).

-------- Original Message --------

Subject: Salt River bleaching
   Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2003 07:50:51 -0300
   From: Dave Ward <seaward at viaccess.net>
     To: Jim Hendee <Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov>

About 3 1/2 weeks ago I noticed the bleaching Agaricia that is in the
picture, along with a very small Diploria labrynthiformis that was also
bleaching. No Millepora were bleaching. Two weeks ago I saw three or
four small Diploria strigosa heads at the CREWS station (20 ft.) that
looked pale. These were random and in most cases next to healthy looking
heads. I also saw one small Montastrea annularis that was beginning to
turn pale. Yesterday there were 20-30 small Diploria strigosa heads with
a very pale color in shallow water along with one Millepora that also
looked pale. I looked at all the large Montastrea heads as I swam down
the camera cable and saw nothing of interest until I reached 30 feet.
There were four or five heads between 30 and 40 feet deep that were
pale. I looked around the 47' instrument mooring pin within a radius of
about 50' and only observed three corals that were showing signs of
bleaching. There was one each of Diploria labrynthiformis, Montastrea
faveolata, Millepora squarrosa. The heads between 30 and 40 feet deep
were all Montasteas. On the return I noticed one very large Montastrea
faveolata head on the side of the spur near the camera that had several
silver dollar size spots that were beginning to bleach. I hope this
helps. Dave

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