The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released yesterday a Coral Bleaching Watch Advisory for the Chinchorro Bank, in Mexico. This site is close to the northern reefs in Belize and all snorkelers and divers visiting sites along the Belize Barrier Reef are asked to take their Coral Watch slates on trips to the reef and record their observations and submit online. Northern Turneffe and Lighthouse Atoll are also under the Coral Reef Watch. Please be the voice for the reefs you visit let us know what you are seeing!
On June 21 volunteers with Reef CI in the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve participated in the Coral Watch Program and submitted their observations from two sites. Kenly Willians surveyed Eel Gardens which is a forereef site, while Jenny Birch and Colin Sollinger surveyed a shallow back reef site. Presented below are the results from the surveys.
Photo Helene Hess 2012
Check out this fantastic picture taken by Helene Hess on M&M Canyon at Ambergris Caye! Looks like lionfish have yet another predator in Belize to watch out for!
NOAA Coral Bleach Watch Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Outlook for Belize Indicate NO Stress!
This is great news for Belize reefs. Thankfully the waters cooled off quickly last year and the corals returned to normal healthy browns and greens!
If you are visiting the reefs in Belize please contact us so we can send you a Belize Coral Watch Program so you can complete surveys while you are snorkeling or diving and help identify resilient reefs!
So far this year, we have reports of 93 turtles throughout the country! 54 of these have been hawskbill, 19 green, 18 loggerhead, 1 leatherback, and 1 unknown! 5 of the reports have been of stranded turtles. Remember, if you have observed a turtle while in Belize be sure to tell us by filling out our In-Water Turtle Observation form under the tab 'Submit Report' or email us!
Check back for updates on our activities and reports shared by volunteers in the field!