February/March 2014 Update - Tracking sea temperatures on the reef

THE NAITAUBA REEF INITIATIVE GETS A HELPING HAND FROM AN INDUSTRY LEADER

Rising sea temperatures pose one of the greatest threats to Naitauba's coral reef. Rising sea temperatures threaten the very survival of Naitauba's reef and the intricate web of life that depends on it.

Localized bleaching on the upper areas of a coral formation just off Lion's Lap beach

Localized bleaching on the upper areas of a coral formation just off Lion's Lap beach

Both photos: Localized bleaching on the upper areas of a coral formation just off Lion's Lap beach that we discovered end of last month.

Monitoring sea temperatures is fundamental to our efforts of preserving Naitauba's reef.

For this reason, we are completely overjoyed to receive a generous contribution from a US-based leader in the field of environmental monitoring and data logging. The Onset Computer Corporation of Cape Cod, Massachusetts has donated four of their HOBO U22 water temperature data loggers, a base station, and their proprietary HOBOware data management software to the Naitauba Reef Initiative.

HOBO data loggers to monitor water temperatures sponsored by ONSET

HOBO data loggers to monitor water temperatures around Naitauba's reef sponsored by ONSET.

The equipment has arrived on Naitauba and we are already seeing that the new data they provide will transform our understanding of the reef system. Onset's data loggers will give us the capability to detect potentially damaging increases in local sea temperature and to see how the changes in sea temperature translate into impacts on the reef's coral.

With helpful guidance from the USP reef study team, we are making plans to anchor the loggers at key locations on Naitauba's reef where they will give us a continuous record of sea water temperatures. We want to gather as much data as possible during this time of the year when sea temperatures reach their highest levels and the danger of coral bleaching is greatest.

This is a critical step in our preparation for the USP reef team's next visit to Naitauba, now slated for June.

We'll be looking for your help to make that visit a reality, and will be posting more about our plans soon.

- The Naitauba Reef Initiative team