Author: Clark Sherman, Ph.D.
Institution: University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez
Year: 2009 – 2012
This research is part of the Guanica Bay Watershed Project, a multi-agency project to strategically evaluate, design, and implement a watershed restoration project to reduce the effects of land-based sources of pollution into the coastal ocean. A primary element of this project includes efforts to characterize reef communities and the physical, chemical and biological stressors affecting them to inform decision-making as well as serve as a baseline to quantify the effectiveness of the implemented project. Our component of the Guanica Bay Watershed Project seeks to address Watershed Project needs by determining the composition and accumulation rates of terrigenous materials accumulating in Guanica Bay and on adjacent reefs. This research is supported by NOAA through the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute.
To characterize and quantify sedimentation patterns an array of sediment traps has been established at nine reef sites adjacent to Guanica Bay and at two sites within the bay itself. Traps are collected monthly to determine both the amount of sediment accumulation and its composition. Traps were initially established in August 2009 and have been collected monthly since that time, with plans to continue the project through August 2012. This will result in a unique and important baseline assessment, broad on both spatial and temporal scales, of terrigenous sedimentation patterns adjacent to the Guanica Bay watershed and the potential influence of terrigenous influx on reef communities. General characterization of coral communities at the study sites to identify trends that may be consistent with trends in sedimentation.
References & more
- Research reports: November 2010, February 2006
- Carriger J.F., Fisher W.S., Stockton Jr. T.B., Sturm P.E. (2013) Advancing the Guánica Bay (Puerto Rico) Watershed Management Plan. Coastal Management 41:1 19-38
- Hernandez R., Sherman C., Weil E., Yoshioka P. (2009) Spatial and temporal patterns in reef sediment accumulation and composition, Southwestern insular shelf of Puerto Rico. Caribbean Journal of Science 45(2-3): 138-150.
- Sherman C., Hernandez R., Hutchinson Y. (2010) Sedimentation patterns at reef sites adjacent to the Guanica Bay watershed, Southwest Puerto Rico – progress report. University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez, Marine Science Department