Coral reefs show slight recovery

POSTED: 02/8/12 3:27 PM

GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten Nature Foundation recently conducted its first bi-yearly research for 2012 on offshore coral reefs in the Proselyte area and on Frenchman’s Reef. The research was conducted using the reef check scientific diving protocols and conducted by Nature Foundation staff and volunteers.
Results from the monitoring shows that although there are significant challenges facing St. Maarten’s most important coral reef area; the Man of War Shoal Marine Park, there have been some gains in coral cover which is up 3% and there is a slow increase of some fish species. However on other coral reef areas which were also researched there is a significant lack of important fish species and challenges facing run-off from land which smothers and kills reefs.
The Man of War Shoal Marine Park is St. Maarten’s first and only protected area and based on Nature Foundation Research in 2012 the economic value of the Coral Reef Ecosystem contributes almost 60 Million dollars to the economy of St. Maarten. The Nature Foundation will continue its various management and research projects within the Man of War Shoal Marine Park and other Coral Reef areas in order to continue with its efforts of coral reef conservation.

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