Study finds conservation enables Caribbean reef to recover, Penobscot Bay Pilot reports

Penobscot Bay Pilot published a University of Maine news release about research by Bob Steneck, a University of Maine professor of marine sciences, that found even with ocean warming, coral bleaching and an intense hurricane, local conservation actions helped a Caribbean coral reef ecosystem rebound in about a decade. Steneck began studying coral reefs off the island of Bonaire, near Venezuela in the Dutch Caribbean, in 2002. For more than 15 years, Steneck and a team of graduate students regularly monitored the live coral, algae, reef fishes and juvenile corals at multiple locations. Their goal was to document trends of key ecosystem drivers. Steneck said the long-term case study shows that management at the local level can improve conditions for regrowth and for the establishment of juvenile corals, thereby enhancing the recovery resilience of these endangered ecosystems.