Marine Biology- Day 5


Today was the day we had all been waiting for, the day we would finally conduct our coral transplantation. To begin the process, we traveled out to Long Bay and gathered chunks of staghorn coral from the area. The reason we were gathering coral from Long Bay was that most of the coral there had been damaged by anchors, fungi, and other hazards that were present in the area. By taking the healthy coral, we could transplant them to another site that would provide better chances of survival than Long Bay did. After gathering these healthy chunks of coral, we placed them in a saltwater-filled box and traveled over to the new site, Nail Bay. Unfortunately, after the first dive, I had a headache that only occurred when I dove below five feet so I decided to just snorkel the final portion. Although I was not able to actively re-plant the coral, I still observed the process, which was cool in itself. The general procedure was to take the large chunks of coral and break them up into smaller chunks so they could be ‘glued’ onto the ground by using a form of epoxy. By the time everything was finished, we had eight pieces of coral successfully glued, and many more that were scattered around in small crevices. The scattered corals were the ones that were not the right size to be epoxy glued but still had a chance of survival, if placed securely in a crevice. We were all thrilled to conclude our coral transplantations and celebrated by taking a dive or snorkel around Nail Bay for fun. I snorkeled and saw a school of blue tang swimming in the shallows of a reef. The school was an interesting sight because previously, I had never seen reef fish like that swim in a school, especially that close to the shore. To end the day, we are going to relax and eat pizza on the beach.