The Coral Reef Evaluation and Monitoring Project (CREMP) is one of the longest running coral reef monitoring projects along the Florida Reef Tract, the world’s third largest barrier reef system. FWC Research monitors 54 coral reef sites in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Dry Tortugas National Park. Surveys look at population demographics (species presence, abundance, and size of the corals), health and percent cover of important marine organism groups on the bottom – including stony corals, soft corals and algae. CREMP has been working in the Dry Tortugas since 1999 to monitor the coral reefs and evaluate the status and trends of threatened or endangered coral species, including staghorn, elkhorn, fused staghorn, and star corals.
FWC photo by Ari Halperin