Another busy day here on Heron Island! The morning was filled with a Coral Watch partnered data collection activity. We were given color identification and data entry cards to go and collect coral color data with. It was hard to stay focused on collecting data with all the rich biodiversity surrounding the coral! At any given time, I was surrounded by many different species of coral, fish, worms, starfish, and much more. The vibrant colors of each animal seemed as if an entire paint set had been used in their creation. Vibrant yellows, shimmering blues, glossy greens, and all sorts of shades in between.
Though the coral was abundant, it was clear that things weren't going so well. Competition from algae, raising temperatures, and other factors were contributing to the overall lowering of coral color brightness. According to Coral Watch, the brightness of coral colors can be used as an indication of overall coral health. After collecting data, I realized that though the coral colors are a bit of a mixed bag right now, the coral used to be much more vibrant. The good news was that a lot of the coral isn't yet dead. The bad news is that the overall health of the Great Barrier Reef is declining. Any steps that can be taken to improve reef health should be. Fortunately there are so many things we can do to help the reef out! Even just choosing to walk around campus instead of driving can help the reef by reducing carbon emissions. Whether in Logan or around the world, any act helps.
The rest of the day was basically just spent studying for the organism identification test we have tomorrow or just enjoying the island. Here is today summarized in a haiku:
shelter, feed, and beautify.
Hidden down under.
Hi there! I'm from a ski town just south of Salt Lake City called Cottonwood Heights. Being so close to the mountains all my life has enabled me to have a deep and meaningful connection with nature. Join me as I learn and experience all that the natural world has to offer!