The Teen Research Underwater Explorers have arrived in Key Largo for our 2nd annual Acropora Spawning Research Trip!!! During the days, we will do some of our favorite dives in the upper keys, conducting fish surveys for REEF and Bleachwatch for Mote Marine Lab. While other folks are tucking themselves into a nice warm bed at night, we will be heading out to do multiple night dives under the moonlight on the Florida Keys Reef Tract.
This year, we are pleased to be working with Katie and Andy of the Coral Restoration Foundation. We are collecting spawn from Acropora cervicornis, staghorn corals, at the Wellwood Restoration site on Molasses Reef. These corals were transplanted by the Coral Restoration Foundation in 2007, 2008, and 2009. The goal is to collect gametes from different known genotypes of corals, cross-fertilize the samples, and create "test tube corals", hopefully developing a strain of Acropora cervicornis that preserves the best characteristics from each genotype. Sorry for all the scientific mumbo jumbo. I am sure you will be more interested to hear our story told from the mouths of our Teen Explorers. So, here is the "rest of the story...."
TRUE Education Officer