Three Puerto Ricans recently completed training that equips them to help monitor their condition of their island’s coral reefs and marine ecosystems:
In September, Nikole Ordway, Reef Check Florida Course Director, trained 3 volunteers from Puerto Rico as EcoDivers. These new Reef Check divers will launch Reef Check surveys in Puerto Rico.
The training started with a classroom session at Force-E Dive Centers in Pompano Beach, Florida. As part of the class they practiced a dry land survey where pictures of reef fish, invertebrates and impacts are placed along a transect line. This is a great way to practice before jumping in the water where communication is a bit more challenging.
The students geared up the next day for their dives on the reef to practice their surveying skills. The two sites they looked at had lots of reef fish, making it easy to practice which fish were indicators and non-indicators. Also on this reef there were a few bleached corals, which were useful to show the difference between bleached corals and other impacts like predation on corals.
To wrap up they took their EcoDiver ID exams and all three of them passed with flying colors!
Congratulations to Veronica, Sylmarie, and Alejandro…Reef Check Puerto Rico’s newest team!
Source: the Reef Check International website.
Previous related posts on Green Antilles: Happy 5th birthday to Reef Check Dominican Republic!, Youth in Haiti start training to become EcoDivers, and Reef Check training for marine park wardens in the Grenadines.
[Photo: Matthew Kraus]