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April 2020    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 46, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Good News for Coral in South Caicos

from the April, 2020 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

The Caribbean has been hit particularly hard by coral loss, losing around 80 percent of its coral cover since the 1970s, which became even worse during the 2014-17 global bleaching event when particularly warm waters pushed some reefs over the edge. But it's not all bad news.

Since 2012, a citizen science program in the Turks & Caicos Islands in the Caribbean has been surveying 104 sites off South Caicos Island. Its findings, reported in Applied Sciences, reveal that boulder-type corals demonstrated no significant bleaching and plate-type, less resistant to high water temperatures, were able to rebound. Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which passed by either side of the islands, might have actually helped because they churned up colder water from the depths.

A few reefs off Hawaii and at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef have also been observed to be resisting the global trend for coral die-off, but this latest discovery in the TCI is on a larger scale.

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