[Coral-List] Grand Bahama reef assessment

Thomas Goreau goreau at bestweb.net
Sun Feb 18 12:03:52 EST 2007

Dear Rachel,

I'm just back from looking at coral reef restoration needs in Grand  
Bahama and Abaco. There are only a few small patches of healthy  
corals left on the south side, Most coral has died in recent years  
and are overgrown with algae. Some of my colleagues there have  
recently taken video of the former reefs off the West End of Grand  
Bahama and plan to take more. It is pretty depressing, but the local  
divers know the waters well and can show you both the best, worst,  
and typical sites, all of which need to be included for the results  
to be representative.

My own view is that quadrats are a waste of time because they cover  
too little area, unless you do thousands of them like my father did  
in the 1960s when he pioneered the method. However the best method is  
to do very  long video transects perpendicular to and parallel to the  
major environmental gradients covering as much as possible of the  
entire range, not the short little transects that are currently  
popular but which are statistically inadequate in most cases to  
represent the environment being surveyed, much less recognize change.

I'm forwarding this to a Grand Bahama diver, Gary Simmons, who has  
spent his lifetime in the water there and is shocked at the changes.  
We are very interested in seeing such surveys made in locations that  
will allow us to best inform the Bahamas Government and developers  
about the steps needed to stop sewage pollution of the waters, so I  
urge your student to contact Gary and ensure that his results will be  
in the most useful locations for making policy suggestions to clean  
up the waters and restore the reefs. My Bahamian colleagues will be  
glad to work with you. There are still some small fairly good areas  
in the Abacos that also need to be worked on, and I suggest you  
contact Troy Albury of Guana Divers and Save Guana Cay Reef if there  
is a chance to do some work there. Bruce Purdy is also a gold mine of  
information on long term changes in the Bahamas (I have not yet  
unpacked his card with email, but Gary can get it to you).

Best wishes,

Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
Global Coral Reef Alliance
37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
goreau at bestweb.net

Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 13:57:16 -0500
From: "Hovington, Rachel" <RHovington at aischool.org>
Subject: [Coral-List] Bahamas Research
To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
	<F4F6F80D29ABB84B8C580C07C9573714133735 at svr-m-mail-1.aischool.org>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"

I am a teacher supervising a research project of a student who wishes to
compare coral health in reefs around Grand Bahama. He has a research
plan that involves transects and quadrats but I wondered if anyone could
point me in the direction of a good source for information regarding
quantification of reef fish community structure using a visual census

Rachel Hovington
Atlanta International School
rhovington at aischool.org
404 8413881

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