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National Coral Reef Task Force Members Visit the Florida Keys

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A hydrophone captures reef sounds
Listening to corals: A hydrophone located in the center of a parabolic dish captures sounds made by the star coral Montastrea annularis and other reef sounds made by biologic, geologic, hydrologic and atmospheric processes. Color and infrared video cameras mounted on a tripod below the dish record coral polyp activity and other events during day and night sampling periods.
On September 26th and 27th, two members of the President's National Coral Reef Task Force made a field trip to Biscayne National Park (BNP), located in the northernmost part of the Florida Keys. They were interested in a cooperative study between the National Park Service (NPS) and the USGS, specifically a study led by Gary Hill of the St. Petersburg Field Center. This is a new investigation focused on evaluating the use of "reef sounds" (passive acoustic emissions monitoring) to map reefs thematically, identify reef processes, and assess reef health quantitatively. During the trip, Gary presented results of the acoustic study and the group participated in taking samples, processing real-time data, and snorkeling and diving on the reef to observe the current reef condition first hand. The group also heard a presentation from the NPS by Richard Curry (Science Coordinator, BNP) about the concept of a "coral nursery" to help repair damaged reefs and visited a potential site in the park where a nursery could be established. The coral nursery, if established, would be a joint effort between USGS and NPS.

Task Force members included Michael Soukup (Associate Director of Natural Resources, Stewardship & Science, NPS) and Denny Fenn (Associate Director for Biology, USGS). Others on the field trip included Linda Canzanelli (Superintendent, BNP), Brenda Lazendorf (Associate Science Coordinator, BNP), Rick Clark (Chief of Resource Management, BNP) and several members of BRD including Russ Hall (Center Director, Florida Caribbean Science Center), Nick Funicelli (FCSC), Greg Smith (Reston), and Marc Blouin (Great Lakes Science Center).

Related Sound Waves Stories
USGS Collaborates with Biscayne National Park on Coral-Reef Research
August, 2000

Related Web Sites
Coral Reef Task Force
U.S. Department of the Interior
Biscayne National Park
U.S. National Park Service

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