Presenter Information

Tierney Dodge, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 11:00 AM

Project Type

Poster

Description

Human activities have been increasingly impacting the Gulf of Mexico negatively. The Gulf of Mexico is a biological rich ecosystem, with coral reefs providing a unique habitat for a diverse array of fish and other marine wildlife, including turtles. However, the increasing use of nutrient rich fertilizers in the Mississippi River Valley have created a growing dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico: a large area where there is no available oxygen due to extreme eutrophication. Overfishing has also depleted the stocks of many fish in the Gulf, further depleting the ecological health of the area. However, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency has been creating Marine Protected Areas in order to allow these fish stocks to rebuild and restore the ecological integrity of the reefs. This study compares the critical coral and reef fish habitat and reef fish stressed areas in the Gulf of Mexico with the current Marine Protected Areas. The study also examines the spatial distribution of these essential habitats relative to the distribution of active oil drilling lease sites, as oil drilling and spills have been other sources of significant human impact on the area.

Faculty Sponsor

Manny Gimond

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Environmental Studies Program

CLAS Field of Study

Interdisciplinary Studies

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

471

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May 1st, 10:00 AM May 1st, 11:00 AM

Critical Reef Fish Habitats, Fishing Regulations, and Active Drilling Lease Sites in the Gulf of Mexico

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Human activities have been increasingly impacting the Gulf of Mexico negatively. The Gulf of Mexico is a biological rich ecosystem, with coral reefs providing a unique habitat for a diverse array of fish and other marine wildlife, including turtles. However, the increasing use of nutrient rich fertilizers in the Mississippi River Valley have created a growing dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico: a large area where there is no available oxygen due to extreme eutrophication. Overfishing has also depleted the stocks of many fish in the Gulf, further depleting the ecological health of the area. However, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency has been creating Marine Protected Areas in order to allow these fish stocks to rebuild and restore the ecological integrity of the reefs. This study compares the critical coral and reef fish habitat and reef fish stressed areas in the Gulf of Mexico with the current Marine Protected Areas. The study also examines the spatial distribution of these essential habitats relative to the distribution of active oil drilling lease sites, as oil drilling and spills have been other sources of significant human impact on the area.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/313