Location: Soufriere, St. Lucia

Today was an action packed day of marine discovery. In the morning, we ventured into Soufriere for a presentation on the reef reserves around St. Lucia by the Soufriere Marine Management Area. This organization was set up by the community to help reduce the impact of humans on some of the worlds most beautiful reefs. They allow visitors to dive the reefs, and help collect data about the fish, invertebrates, and make up of the reef. We also heard about how the fishermen were upset about losing some of their fishing areas, but now, 15 years later, they are finding the fish are more abundant than ever. We then had a small amount of shore time where everyone walked around the very small town of Soufriere. Kevin and Blake found a special energy drink made of the delicious sea moss, so of course they tried it. Apparently, it wasn’t too great. The center plaza of the town was once used for executions, but is now a pretty little garden with benches. Quite a difference. After lunch, we got ready to do our very own reef check for the SMMA. We were split into the fish group, which would count various species, the invertebrate group, which counted different kinds of invertebrate hiding in the rocks and coral, and the substrate group, which observed the floor of the reefs. Each group counted along an 100m line, either 5m or 10m deep. We observed today that 1) its difficult to count things that move 2) its hard to write on paper underwater because it also moves. So as you can see, we were not only having fun for ourselves today, but we also helped out an awesome organization. Now, we are all very excited for our Marine Bio exams! Working hard on Ocean Star, that’s us