[Coral-List] NYTimes: Rising Ocean Temperatures Threaten Florida's Coral Reef

Tyler Smith tsmith at uvi.edu
Tue May 23 15:10:45 EDT 2006

Hi Listers,

I just wanted to draw your attention to yesterday's issue of the New  
York Times and the article "Rising Ocean Temperatures Threaten  
Florida's Coral Reef".  While it is great that the media is again  
spotlighting the plight of coral reefs and I enjoy being interviewed  
for such pieces, I wanted to clarify a misquotation.  I did not mean  
to have printed that I believe that the US Virgin Islands has lost  
70-100% of its corals to bleaching.  Instead the passage should have  
read "We had 70-100% of our shallow water (less than 30m) reef  
BLEACHED".  Estimates of colony mortality from the Coral Reef  
Monitoring Program are around 5% for the initial bleaching, with an  
additional 5% from disease outbreaks following the bleaching.  The  
disease losses are still ongoing so this number will undoubtedly get  
higher.  Much of the mortality was partial, so in the final estimates  
loss of coral cover will be much higher than loss of whole colonies.   
I will keep you posted.

Tyler B. Smith, Ph.D.
USVI Territorial Coral Reef Monitoring Program
Center for Marine and Environmental Studies
University of the Virgin Islands
2 John Brewers Bay
St. Thomas, USVI       00802
office: 340-693-1394
fax:     340-693-1405

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