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New Book on Coral Reefs of the U.S. Virgin Islands

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Brain coral with black-band disease
Above: Brain coral with black-band disease, Waterlemon Cay, Virgin Islands National Park. A black band separates the white coral skeleton from the live coral tissue. Photograph by Caroline Rogers, USGS, from The State of the Coral Reefs of the U.S. Virgin Islands. [larger version]

A beautifully produced book entitled The State of the Coral Reefs of the U.S. Virgin Islands was published on March 11 by the Ocean Conservancy; it can be downloaded for free from the conservancy's Web site.

The new book's primary authors are Nicolas Drayton, Caribbean Ecosystems Program Manager for the Ocean Conservancy; Caroline Rogers, marine ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS); and Barry Devine, chief scientist at the Eastern Caribbean Center, University of the Virgin Islands. The book is the result of collaboration among people from several Federal and local agencies and nongovernmental organizations, including the USGS, the National Park Service, the Ocean Conservancy, the University of the Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources, and the Island Resources Foundation.

Written for a nontechnical audience with clear language and many photographs, the book has sections on general reef ecology, the current status of the reefs, associated ecosystems such as seagrass beds, historical and current research, threats to coral reefs, and challenges for management. It also features interviews with local fishermen and residents who speak about the changes that have occurred during their lifetimes, including loss of living coral, increase in algae, and decline in fish abundance. The book emphasizes that the reefs in the Virgin Islands, despite deterioration, are still worth protecting and that people can change their actions to reduce stressors and encourage reef recovery.

Cover of The State of the Coral Reefs of the U.S. Virgin Islands
Above: Cover of The State of the Coral Reefs of the U.S. Virgin Islands, a book recently published by The Ocean Conservancy and available at URL http://www.oceanconservancy.org/site/PageServer?pagename=stateofthereefs.

Related Web Sites
Ocean Conservancy
not-for-profit organization

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Research Introduced Foxes Transformed Vegetation

Outreach Animal Ambassadors Help Educate Public

Scientist Shares USGS Work Experience with Students

USGS Oceanographer Interviewed About Erosion by Hurricanes

Meetings Knowledge Management for Coastal and Marine Geology

Awards National Wetlands Research Center's Staff Receive Awards

Employee Recognized for Providing Maps to Police

Staff & Center News In Memoriam: Polly Hastings

Mendenhall Fellows Join Western Coastal and Marine Geology Team

Operations Assistant Joins Western Coastal and Marine Geology Team

Publications New Book on Coral Reefs of the Virgin Islands

May Publications List

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