Reef Check Dominican Republic

Protection and Conservation of Coral Reefs in the Dominican Republic, using marine protected areas as a tool to ensure sustainability of natural resources, and supporting the livelihoods of local communities
Nov 13, 2013

Coral Reef Restoration July-October 2013 Report

 

  • During this period (August to October 2013), a total of US$430 were received via the Global Giving website from a recurring donor, many thanks for the continued support, and special thanks to recurring donors. All your donations and giving this coral species a chance.

 

  • Two monitoring trips were conducted in La Caleta Marine Park nursery to check on the conditions of coral fragments collected so far. During the summer months, when water gets warmer, coral colonies tend to bleach, or loose the symbiotic microscopic algae that live within the coral tissue (known as zooxantellae). When this happens, coral turns to look white, given that corals are transparent organisms, and the algae is that provides color to coral, but also about 90% of the corals diet via photosynthesis. So when they turn white (bleach), is also means that they can starve to death if water temperature does not come down quickly and they get the algae back. One colony in La Caleta coral nursery is starting to look pale, which is the initial sign of bleaching, we will keep an eye on this one, there is not much what we can do but reverse climate change.

 

  • During this period we also sign an agreement with Tropigas Foundation, from propane Distribution Company that wants to help save this planet and pitch in with local conservation efforts. These funds will be used to establish four new coral nurseries in different locations of DR, this will help us to have replicate nurseries and distribute any chance of damage due to storms etc (if we loose the entire coral nursery in la caleta, we would have replicate colonies in another undamaged site). The first nursery was built and installed in Palmar de Ocoa, a calm bay south west of Bani. We were able to install 2 metal frames and 2 rope nurseries, with over 80 coral fragments replicates from several locations of DR.

 

  • Also, we signed an agreement with ERM Foundation (erm.com) to develop a new type of structure to build  artificial reefs, combining tools to control coastal erosion, and to develop transplant sites for cultivated corals.

 

  • See pictures from this reporting period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 13, 2013

Final report for controlling lion fish in DR

-no donations have been received in this period

-given that our lion fish strategy has taken this issue from its starting phase to communicate the arrival of Lion Fish to DR waters, giving out technical information and avoiding panic situations with local public, then develping monitoring tools to determine changes in population leves of lion fish, to then developing a local strategy, that follows the ICRI regional strategy, based on marketing and consumption of lion fish regularly. This has led to decrease (or control) of lion fish populations in most parts of DR, which was the goal of our strategy.

-Reef Check DR will terminate this global giving project, giving many thanks to all those who donated for this cause, helping to control lion fish populations in DR, and alliviating impacts to local marine fauna.

Aug 12, 2013

Coral Reef Restoration May-July 2013 Report

Growth comparison of coral fragment
Growth comparison of coral fragment

• During this period (May to July 2013), a total of US$60 were received via the Global Giving website from a recurring donor, many thanks for the continued support.

• A monitoring trip was conducted in La Caleta Marine Park nursery to check on the conditions of coral fragments collected during the Silver Banks expedition, and from other locations including Palmar de Ocoa (south coast DR) and Gaspar Hernández (north coast DR). Pictures and measurements were collected from each coral fragment. All coral fragments are well and growing rapidly, possibly due to the use of coral nurseries made from rope instead of metal frames, such rope nurseries allow coral fragments to grow in any direction given their suspended position on the water column, as compared to metal frames located on the bottom in which coral fragments grow mostly upwards.

• Given advanced state of growth in most coral fragments, specially older ones, a re-fragmentation operation will be scheduled and conducted in the next few months.

* The coral nursery in Las Terrenas (north DR) has been relocated to a new location farther away from the coast. It was found that the initial location was being impacted by sediment and fresh water run off during the wet season.

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