Corals and Climate Change

Project Summary Corals face threats from climate change such as increased sea temperatures. Even small increases above summer average temperature can affect corals. When this happens they lose the symbiotic algae that live in their tissue and provide them with food. Corals that lose symbionts appear white as if they were bleached and may die.  Death due to [...]

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Monitoring Climate Change and Its Impacts to Reefs

Project Summary Climate change is one of the greatest threats to coral reefs and coastal communities.  Increased sea temperatures and sea levels from climate change can kill reef building corals and drown mangrove forests next to developed areas. Because corals and mangroves naturally reduce wave energy and trap sediments, their loss leads to increased shoreline erosion. This puts coastal communities [...]

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Assessing Reefs to Select Marine Protected Areas

Project Summary The Bahamas has been a regional leader in the creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), such as parks and marine fishery reserves for conservation and fishery management. At present, The bahamas has approximately 10% of its nearshore waters protected in some form of MPA, and has committed to expanding there protected area system to [...]

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Improving Communications

Project Summary Communicating the results of research to key audiences is a critical step to changing behaviors and building stewardship. These audiences may be diverse - ranging from resource users like fishers, to marine resource managers and politicians who make policy, to the general public who are consumers of seafood. Therefore, effective communications require adapting messages [...]

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Improving Marine Protected Area Management

Project Summary While there is a great emphasis on hitting targets for creating Marine Protected Areas, managing these areas effectively is critical. Too often, we see MPAs get designated as "paper parks" with no management plans or no effective implementation of these plans. The creation of MPAs without effective management does little to protect biodiversity, support fisheries [...]

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Valuing Marine Ecosystems

Project Summary The ecological value of tropical marine habitats like coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass is clear, but what is their economic value? These habitats support important commercial and subsistence fisheries, provide opportunities for tourism and recreation, protect from storms and flooding, and can be important carbon sinks. Furthermore, degradation of these habitats can decrease or lead to loss of these [...]

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Assessing and Monitoring Coral Reef Health

Project Summary As part of the Blue Project and reversing the Decline of Bahamian Coral Reefs program, we have been assessing aspects of coral reef health throughout The Bahamas.  These assessments have been used to guide reef rehabilitation efforts, develop management plans for protected areas, and select sites for new protected areas. Repeated surveys at some [...]

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Protecting parrotfish

Project Summary Parrotfish are among the most important herbivores on Caribbean coral reefs. This is particularly true in areas, like The Bahamas, where the long-spines sea urchin Diadema antillarum has not recovered from a regional die-off over 35 years ago. They consume seaweed and give corals a chance to grow and reefs a chance to [...]

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Bringing Diadema Back

Project Summary They may not be "sexy", but the long-spines sea urchin, Diadema antillarum, is one of the most important species on coral reefs.  As grazers, they keep seaweed growth in check and allow coral larvae to settle and grow. This increases reef resilience and allows reefs to recover after corals die off from natural or [...]

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Bahamas Reef Restoration Network – BRRN

Project Summary Reversing the decline of coral reefs throughout The Bahamas is a group effort, requiring multiple restoration sites throughout the country. To this end, The Perry Institute has partnered with local conservation organizations, research labs, dive operators and other stakeholders to create the Bahamas Coral Reef Restoration Network.  The goal of this network is to empower [...]

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