Coral Health and Monitoring Program (CHAMP) researchers at AOML have worked cooperatively with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), headquartered in Belize, over the past several years to install Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) stations at key coral reef sites in countries throughout the Caribbean. CREWS stations monitor an array of atmospheric and oceanographic parameters to assess the health and integrity of coral reefs. The stations are part of the CCCCC’s efforts to strengthen the Caribbean region’s ability to respond to climate variability, extreme weather conditions, pollution, and habitat change.
In collaboration with the CCCCC, CHAMP researchers have already installed CREWS stations in Belize (2 stations), the Dominican Republic (2 stations), Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago (2 stations). In October, the CCCCC received $1.4 M to maintain the existing CREWS network of stations, plus establish new stations in at least the following countries: St. Lucia, Antigua, Dominica, and either Saint Vincent and the Grenadines or Grenada. CHAMP researchers will continue to work with the CCCCC to maintain the existing CREWS network and install the new stations, enabling the CCCCC to more efficiently monitor threats posed to coral reefs throughout the Caribbean.