This week in patch reef research we had our first field day on the patch reefs. With visitors from Williams College and the New York Harbor School, we loaded the boat and headed out to patch reefs # 23 and 24. We all expected the patch reefs to be large structures in the ocean, but once Elyssa pointed them out to us, we were surprised to see that they are actually very small. Although they are small, the fish in the patch reefs are abundant. Through visual inspection, we were able to identify many different fish species such as the Nassau grouper (one of our key species!), grey angelfish, and striped parrotfish.
Upon returning to school, we logged our data on REEF.org, REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) maintains an online database of fish species across the world. It is very exciting that we get to be a part of this research study. Our enthusiasm is only growing with each snorkel and we can’t wait to further investigate the patch reefs in the weeks to come.