Long-Term Assessment and Monitoring Programme (LAMP)
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CCMI's long-term monitoring programme has allowed us to collect over 12 years of data on coral cover, fish abundance and a variety of other characteristics of reefs in Little Cayman. This allows us to understand how coral reefs are changing over time, which is critically important in the face of the mounting threats our fragile marine environment is currently facing.
INTEGRATED CORAL OBSERVING NETWORK (ICON)
CCMI is proud to be an integral part of a global effort to monitor and study coral reefs worldwide.CCMI and NOAA researchers have partnered to place a monitoring station in Little Cayman within Bloody BayMarine Park. Along with NOAA, CCMI installed instrumentation that gathers data and helps generate a better understanding of climate change and the ocean. The monitoring station is a sophisticated device containing instruments that measure a broad range of local atmospheric and oceanic conditions (e.g. air & sea temperature, wind speed & direction, barometric pressure, photosynthetically available radiation (PAR), ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and salinity). The station transmits the near real-time data to NOAA for integration, analysis, and inference. The data is then made available to researchers, marine-protected area personnel and the public. The entire data collection and processing system, when used specifically to understand coral bleaching and coral reef-related events, is called the "Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS)". This system is considered part of the Integrated Coral Observing Network (ICON) and is thus named ICON/CREWS.
The CREWS system has been successfully used in modeling and alerts of coral bleaching conditions in the Florida Keys and the Great Barrier Reef. It is NOAA's intent to expand this alerting capability to other coral reef areas and to better refine and enhance its alerting capabilities beyond coral bleaching.
CORAL RESILIENCE & RECRUITMENT
Corals are the largest constructors on the face of the earth. They are natural architects in the shallow sea but are only productive when juvenile corals are recruiting. At every dive location in Little Cayman, we see evidence of recruitment.
This project investigates the potential for these juvenile corals to survive and replenish the local reefs, which have shown dramatic declines over the past decades. Results from this work will be used to determine whether the mature corals are reproducing at rates that can ultimately maintain this colossal structure. The following presents project documents and other documents of interest:
DEEP/SHALLOW REEF CONNECTIVITY
Scientists, reef managers and fisherman alike need to understand whether deep reefs have the potential to replenish corals and fish in shallow reefs, which have been declining over the past decades. Understanding these connections can also assist scientists in better predicting and mitigating the effects of climate change.
This project explores the biological diversity and distribution of marine organisms occurring at the deepest extent of reefs in the Caribbean (~122 m or ~400 ft).
Using Deep See's Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) "Little Tyche," we compile videos of the reef walls around Little Cayman between 20-160 m (66-525 ft).
The project will address several major questions, including:
1) Are deep reefs important to the coral reef system’s survival and replenishment?
2) Do deep corals have fluorescing qualities similar to the shallow reef?