Super plane, satellites help map the Caribbean’s hidden coral reefs

Improving on existing maps

Current maps of the Caribbean either leave out coral reefs or are badly outdated, which hampers governments seeking to protect their nations’ offshore natural resources. The new mapping mission will establish baselines so that ongoing monitoring efforts can track changes in reef health and distribution over time.

“The best maps of coral in the Caribbean are very basic,” Tyler Smith, a coral reef ecologist at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas, told Mongabay. “They’re created by looking at how deep the water is and then extrapolating where we expect reefs to be. As a result, there is very poor documentation for many of these reefs.”

A video about the Carnegie Airborne Observatory’s mission in the Dominican Republic. Video by Eddie…

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