A five-year exploration of Bahamian coral reefs will help to form data to gain knowledge of coral reefs on a global scale. 25 other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) around the world are taking part in this study conducted by the Living Oceans Foundation.
Along with the Living Oceans Foundation, the Bahamas National Trust, Nature Conservancy, Friends of the Environment, Andros Conservatory, the Ministry of the Environment and the Department of Marine Resources will work together to gather information on the damage of ocean pollution.
Andros, the largest island in The Bahamas, is bordered by the third largest barrier reef in the world. Identifying the abundance of life; species of corals and fish, health of the reef, its recovery from the bleaching events of 1998, and the size of the coral reef itself. This alone will be one of the most important reefs studied worldwide.
If studies, and steps towards cleaning the oceans are not taken the ocean will cease to exist, as we know it. The contamination and runoff from humans is killing corals and endangering already susceptible species. Knowing what the conditions of Bahamian reefs are, can lead to forward thinking in terms of conservation and restoration. By studying the impact of pollutants, scientists should be able to identify direct threats to individual environments.
The Bahamas is extremely fortunate to be the first country chosen in this global study. By mapping existing marine habitats, creating a plan of action from land and sea, will help zoning of delicate habitats. The entire country relies on reefs for food, resources, as a hurricane-insurance policy and business. Gaining and sharing this knowledge is the most important step in getting civilians onboard with conservation.