Up Geographical Database for photos, videos, GPS Coordinates, news, and project descriptions. » Turks and Caicos Reef Ball Projects and Photos » Reef Ecology Summer 2002-Reef Ball Coalition Slideshow

Unlock the secrets of the marine world as you learn about tropical marine ecology on the island of Providenciales, located in the Turks & Caicos Islands of the British West Indies. The program focuses on the ways an entire reef system comes together to form a beautiful yet fragile environment. The reef systems become your classroom under the instruction of a professional marine biologist and marine science educators. Scientists estimate that 70 percent of the world?s reefs are in danger of being lost within 40 years. Students in our program will have the unique opportunity to actively help the plight of coral reefs. They will be challenged and fascinated with real-world application and hands-on experience as they construct and deploy artificial reef modules called Reef Balls. Once the Reef Balls are deployed, they become new sub-structures for a coral reef and immediately provide shelter and nurseries for marine species. Program components include the ecology of marine corals, exploration of mangrove habitats on kayaks, and cultural and historical exploration of the islands. This is a cross-cultural program that integrates students from the US with select students from Providenciales, including Jr. Park Wardens. The program takes place at the Provo Marine Biology Education Centre, located on an inland canal adjacent to the sea. The Centre is a self-contained facility with dorm accommodations, a large recreation/lecture room, outdoor lab, outdoor dining areas, and a fresh water pool. Participants in the program will also enjoy a full day sail to uninhabited neighboring islands and see Rock Iguanas in their natural habitats, explore undisturbed beaches, and participate in open water snorkeling. Here?s what a few high school students have said about our program: ?Reef Balls were only part of this fantastic program but they really opened up an insight. They taught us how the reefs are declining and how we can help. It was a neat experience to see how it came together. Everybody working together is cool, and the whole experience is awesome. I hope others get to experience it. Thanks.? ??Reef Balls are awesome. It was the best part of the trip. I want to work with you?e-mail me if you ever need my help with those Reef Balls.? (Pat, summer 2000)

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