Up Reef Ball Foundation Photo Gallery » Geographical Database for photos, videos, GPS Coordinates, news, and project descriptions. » Turks and Caicos Reef Ball Projects and Photos » School for Field Studies / RBF Cooperative Research Agreement

This spring,2008,SFS entered into an agreement with the Reef Ball Foundation (RBF)to restore marine reefs around South Caicos Island.With the help of RBF,SFS will create,deploy,and study underwater groupings of specially designed artificial reef structures that will provide new habitats for coral,fish,and marine wildlife.Reef Balls,which are dome-shaped concrete structures with a Swiss-cheese of holes,are designed to imitate natural reef formations,giving nature a jump-start by supplying what would take many years of biological growth to accomplish,and providing a medium to promote new growth.They provide ideal habitats for fish,lobsters,and other marine life,which move in soon after deployment. South Caicos is fringed by the world ’s third largest barrier reef system —one of the more pristine marine habitats in the Caribbean.These reef areas face die-off due to the effects of global warming,unsustainable and destructive fishing practices,and physical destruction due to storms and anthropogenic factors such as unregulated development.It takes thousands of years for a reef to form naturally,and the degradation or outright destruction of a reef can be devastating to ocean and coastal life,with entire ecosystems being wiped out. "This is a wonderful opportunity to combine state of the art technology with research opportunities for students,”says SFS Professor Catherine Jadot.SFS plans continually install more Reef Balls over the next five years. sampling methods;census of populations;mark and recapture techniques;reef monitoring.

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