Around the Sanctuary - 2012

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“Eye in the sky” to help study and protect sanctuary marine resource
Imagine a research instrument that could fly lower than an airplane, access remote areas of the ocean and send real-time information to scientists. Such a tool exists and is being evaluated in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to enhance ocean monitoring and improve resource protection. More...


Television show highlights successes of sanctuary’s Tortugas Ecological Reserve
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, in partnership with Everglades National Park and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has recently released “Marine Zones and the Tortugas Ecological Reserve” a new 26-minute episode of the educational television series “Waterways.” More...

scientists working on underwater acoustic receivers, or underwater listening stations, used to detect fish.

Research Expedition Aids Understanding of Fish Movements, Spawning Locations
Scientists from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and partner agencies recently completed a nine-day research expedition between Key West and the Dry Tortugas aboard the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster. During this expedition, scientists performed 214 scuba dives, mapped 266 miles of seafloor, and documented spawning behaviors of mutton snapper, cubera snapper and ocean triggerfish inside the sanctuary’s Tortugas Ecological Reserve. More...

Overturned pillar coral after hurricane.

Hurricanes: Friend or Foe to Coral Reefs?
June 1 is the start of hurricane season in the western Atlantic, and for many in the southeast United States and Gulf of Mexico it means stocking up on emergency supplies and regular visits to the National Hurricane Center website. The public is well aware of the damage a storm can cause on land, but did you ever stop to wonder how hurricanes affect life beneath the water? More...

Diver recording transplanted coral.

Thousands of Nursery Raised Corals Find Homes on the Reef
This spring and summer, scientists are transplanting thousands of nursery-grown staghorn and elkhorn corals to degraded reefs in the sanctuary, south Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the largest marine restoration project of its kind. More...

Fish on shallow reef bank.

A Productive Marine Environment You Can "Bank" On
When people think of the marine environment of the Florida Keys, most envision the barrier coral reef just a few miles offshore. But coral reefs are just one of several habitat types responsible for the productive fisheries and thriving marine ecosystem that make the Florida Keys famous. New research shows habitats referred to as “bank systems” support a similar abundance and diversity of fishes as do coral reefs, and like coral reefs are sensitive to human and environmental impacts. More...