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Staff & Center News

Coral Reefs in Peril—USGS Scientist Interviewed for Television Report


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submersible SHARQ
Above: The submersible SHARQ system for analyzing underwater-habitat quality. Kim Yates and Bob Halley received a patent on October 22, 2002, for their development of the SHARQ.

The current condition of coral reefs is a subject of serious concern and was the topic of discussion on March 17 when U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Robert Halley was interviewed by Tampa Bay's Channel 10 reporter Cliff Michaelsen at the USGS St. Petersburg Science Center in St. Petersburg, FL. The interview was arranged to provide feedback from a local expert about a report published in February 2004 by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, titled "Coral Reefs and Global Climate Change: Potential Contributions of Climate Change to Stresses on Coral Reef Ecosystems," 10th in a series of reports examining the potential impacts of climate change on the environment.

Halley said that the Pew Center's report appeared to be accurate and agreed with the diagnosis set forth in the report of the current conditions affecting coral reefs. The reporter also filmed Halley explaining how the Submersible Habitat for Analyzing Reef Quality (SHARQ) works. The SHARQ is a large-scale underwater incubation chamber that enables scientists to measure changes in water chemistry in and around sea-floor communities. By researching the metabolic rates of sea-floor communities, scientists hope to learn how to better protect coral reefs, seagrass beds, and sand and hard-bottom communities.

A more broad-ranging report—the "Preliminary Report of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, Governors' Draft"—was released to the public on April 20. The last time a comprehensive review of the Nation's ocean policies was conducted by a congressionally authorized commission was 35 years ago by the Stratton Commission. The Stratton Commission's report led to the creation of several major pieces of legislation, including the Coastal Zone Management Act and the establishment of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Commission on Ocean Policy's draft is currently under review by numerous scientists in the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program.

The Commission on Ocean Policy's report and the Pew Center's report are available online.


Related Sound Waves Stories
USGS' St. Petersburg Science Center Presents USGS Director with Replica of Patent for SHARQ Instrumentation
June 2003
USGS Collaborates with Biscayne National Park on Coral-Reef Research
August 2000

Related Web Sites
Coral Reefs and Global Climate Change: Potential Contributions of Climate Change to Stresses on Coral Reef Ecosystems
Pew Center on Global Climate Change
Preliminary Report of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, Governors' Draft
U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy
St. Petersburg Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
SHARQ Infested Waters - USGS Open File Report 00-166
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Geochemical Productivity Monitoring in Florida Bay - USGS Open File Report 00-361
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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in this issue: Fieldwork
cover story:
Marianas Submarine Hydrothermal Systems

Phosphorus Plume Study

Sea-Otter Numbers at Record High

Research West-Central Florida Project Concludes

Outreach South Florida Congressional Staff Tour

Florida Oceans Day

USF Hydrogeology Field Camp

ASLO Keynote Address

Oceanography Camp for Girls

Water Conservation Festival

Meetings Basics of the Basin Research Symposium

Swarm Modeling Workshop

Awards USGS Recognized for ArcIMS Data

Staff & Center News Halley Interviewed for Local Television

Publications July Publications List


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