AOML coral researchers conducted a number of reef monitoring activities during the month of October at Cheeca Rocks off of Islamorada, Florida. Among the activities was the installation of new sensors to measure pH and photosynthetic light levels at the on-site MapCO2 buoy. The team also conducted benthic surveys and deployed a pH sensor at an inshore patch reef where they are conducting an experiment to examine the impacts of bleaching across Florida Keys reefs. They were also joined by a colleague from the University of Miami who conducted photo mosaic surveys of the reefs. A photo mosaic is a tool used by researchers to map reefscapes and involves the stitching together of hundreds of photos taken simultaneously across the reef to form one giant image. Photo mosaics provide coral researchers with an important tool to more accurately document community-wide changes in reef health. Read more about AOML’s efforts to monitor coral bleaching across the Caribbean in our web story.

Photo credit: NOAA

  • A school of brightly colored fish swim just beneath the surface at the Cheeca Rocks site. Image credit: NOAA
  • Dive flag on the surface at Cheeca Rocks. Image credit: NOAA
  • A juvenile green turtle on the reef at Cheeca Rocks. Image credit: NOAA
  • A University of Miami coral scientist collects photos of a reef to be compiled into a photo mosaic. Image credit: NOAA
  • Collecting Data at Cheeca Rocks

Image Captions

From Left:

  1. A school of brightly colored fish swim just beneath the surface at the Cheeca Rocks site. Image credit: NOAA
  2. Dive flag on the surface at Cheeca Rocks. Image credit: NOAA
  3. A juvenile green turtle on the reef at Cheeca Rocks. Image credit: NOAA
  4. A University of Miami coral scientist collects photos of a reef to be compiled into a photo mosaic. Image credit: NOAA
  5. An AOML coral researcher uses a photo mosaic to locate a bleached coral head on a reef in the Florida Keys. Image credit: NOAA