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Coral Reefs

“Fragments of Opportunity”

St. Thomas native Logan Michelle William’s love affair with coral began when she was two years old, snorkeling the waters of St. Thomas with her father. “I grew up here, born and raised,” said Williams, education outreach coordinator at Coral World. “Being able to dive and see these incredible organisms in this amazing ecosystem just really shaped me as a child. That’s where my passion started.” That passion didn’t quite crystallize until she took a marine biology class as a senior at Antilles School. The class took her back to the waters over the reefs of her childhood, right after the 2005 bleaching event that wiped out up to 90 percent of coral in some areas of the island. “We went snorkeling and I saw that devastation and it completely changed my whole life,” she recalled. “After that moment, I…

Coral Reef Sunscreen

Did you know that every time you put on SUNSCREEN, and go snorkeling, diving, or swimming, you are killing coral reefs and juvenile fish? The next time you head to the beach for a refreshing time in the water, remember to use sunscreen but be aware that although sunscreen helps to protect our skin from…

Zooxanthellae and Corals

Corals are colonies of tiny animals that live in warm, shallow waters. Over thousands of years, coral colonies grow and form coral reefs. However, the animals cannot do this alone. They need the help of zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellae are single-celled algae that live in the coral’s tissues. They give corals their beautiful colors and, more importantly,…

Importance of the Long Spine Black Urchin

Divers and beachgoers alike have long lamented over the nuisance of sea urchins. Their long, skin-piercing spines can cause great discomfort if stepped on or touched, and their spiky appearance makes them seem pretty uninviting. They may seem scary and troublesome, don’t let their reputation fool you. Sea urchins, particularly the Long Spine Black Urchin…

The Nature Conservancy Coral Tree Nursery

This week, scientists from The Nature Conservancy will be transplanting nursery-grown staghorn corals to the reef around the Underwater Observation Tower at Coral World.  The Nature Conservancy maintains six coral nurseries in the USVI containing both staghorn and elkhorn corals.  Each year, corals from these nurseries are transplanted to local reefs around St. Thomas and St. Croix. …

Second Annual Reef Renaissance Film Festival a Complete Success

“MAY I HAVE THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE!” Our second annual festival was a complete success. It was extremely gratifying to look out on the rapt, standing-room-only crowd, and see everyone staring at the screen with their mouths hanging open. Co-founders Paul Cater Deaton, Monica Gephart and Elena Kobrinski are grateful to one and all. Virgin Islands…

Respect the Reef Project — Protecting our Coral Reefs

The Respect the Reef project was started by Ric Dilz to help create awareness about our oceans’ coral reefs. They raise funds through product sales as well as donations from patrons for reef research and education. Ocean reefs are vital to the survival of so many plant and animal life and impact humans in countless…

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