Yesterday we worked on our other project, which is looking at a former dredge site to see what the long-term effects of dredging are on coral reefs. We want to see how dredging affects coral reef recovery, so we are comparing an area of Mo’orea that was dredged several decades ago to another site in the neighboring bay, which no our knowledge has not been dredged. In order to quantify the effects of dredging, we are measuring things such as bottom sediment type/depth and molluscan diversity in the various sites to see the extent to which this kind of anthropogenic activity influences the environment.
The area that we are studying is just south of the Gump Station, so we just jump off the dock behind out dive lockers and swim out to our dive site when we need to take samples. This week, my group (with the help of our 2 T.A.s) took measurements and sediment samples along two 50 meter transects, which we then sorted it to determine how much of the sediment was composed of coral rubble, shells, algae, etc.
Getting SCUBA gear ready to dive on the dredge site