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Coral Monitoring at St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve Quick Topics

Management activities at St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve have been discontinued as of July 1, 2011. This page describes one of the former ecosystem science programs which will be restarted should revenue streams improve.

The coral monitoring project was initiated in 2006 after preserve staff observed a stony coral species, ivory bush coral (Oculina diffusa), along the western shoreline of the bay. Goals of the project were to determine the distribution and abundance of the species through mapping efforts and to determine how they may be affected by future development pressures. This species provides habitat for a variety of commercially and recreationally important invertebrate and fish species and, therefore, has a positive economic impact on the bay. It is important to examine how this species of coral may act as an indicator in determining the health of the bay and its water quality. Underwater video documentation will provide a permanent record of the species and an education component will be added to the project once baseline data is established and a better understanding of the species is obtained.

More information on the Coral Monitoring Program at St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve is available in the St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve Management Plan.

Ivory bush coral

Ivory bush coral
Photo by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

 

 

Last updated: December 13, 2012

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