Today first thing after breakfast, we went to the coral nurseries. Coral nurseries are “nurseries” for stag horn to aid in the amount of staghorn coral around the Caribbean. This is the most productive way in trying to help staghorn life. The nurseries are pbc pipe trees with little pieces of staghorn hanging down each side. They look like this -> +
Our job was to clean 1 tree with a partner. It was very interesting. It is great knowing that a simple cleanse can possibly be the determining factor in the staghorn life around the Virgin Islands. Afterwards we went to another island to work on our project. Our project is just surveying and counting sectioned off staghorn and elkhorn for fishes like Damselfish, Parrot fish and Fairy Basslets. The first site had a medium high density of staghorn. The 2nd site had very low density of staghorn with the same area, and the last site had a very high density of staghorn. We recorded the data on slates and we are currently trying to use this data to prove our hypothesis-
If multiple sections of reef, equal in area, are examined, then the most complex and healthy section of coral will have the highest density of herbivores and herbivory.
Then, we headed for a well prepared and delicious lunch, consisting of chips, cookies, and a ham sandwich. After lunch, we snorkeled and walked to a salt pond, that was completely dry. Even though it was dry, you could see the salt on the ground. I put my finger on the ground and licked one, sadly a bad decision. We walked and snorkeled back and headed back to our cabin. We had 2 hours for our blogs and project. Next, we had a cookout on the beach. The food just keep getting better! Finally, it was the night snorkel. We saw tons of fish. Brock, Bobby, Reese, and I found a nerve shark neer the Baths/ huge rocks. We chased it then it swiftly swam between some rocks. We then found a greenish bluish octopus on a rock. We got closed to it but it swam away and went into camouflage. This whole night dive was so beautiful. It is honestly unexplainable. Lastly, our day was over and we headed home. I felt like today I learned a lot more about our impact on the ocean. Like I said earlier, everything you do has some kind of effect on everything. Simply cleaning tiny staghorn coral can eventually create a huge field of coral. Tomorrow can only get better, and it is just another chance to be men for others and build on our friendships.