The Florida Keys originated as a coral reef during a high stand of sea level during Pleistocene time. Today a magnificent living reef parallels the chain of low islands we know as the Keys. We stayed at Sea Camp on Big Pine Key (shown above), and spent a day investigating coral reef, turtle grass flats and other marine environments.
Environmental problems we saw included contamination and salinity changes in Florida Bay induced by water use patterns in south Florida, and fishing and recreational pressures on reef ecosystems. We discussed the use of Marine Preserves as a means of addressing some of these problems.
Shark behavior and protection is the research specialty of Dr. Jeff Carrier, one of our faculty. Here Jeff is explaining some of the challenges related to creation of Marine preserves, in the Keys and elsewhere.