Characterizing potentially harmful behaviors of snorkelers and SCUBA divers to coral reefs in Puerto Rico. 
 
Thomas Webler & Karin Jakubowski
Social and Environmental Research Institute, Greenfield, Massachusetts
 
 
The purpose of our research is to employ science to promote sustainable tourism at coral reefs in Puerto Rico. Divers and snorkelers are suspected of causing damage to coral reefs by touching, silting, breaking, and collecting at the reefs. We used scientific methods of observation to document how often divers and snorkelers contact the reef.  
We report today on our baseline data that we have gathered. We made about 200 observations of divers and 200 of snorkelers, counting how often they touched the coral. We also asked divers and snorkelers to fill out a survey and to self-report how often they touched the reef. This presentation summarizes our findings in the first year of the project.

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WEBLER Coral 23Sep11.pptx6.12 MB