A few years ago, divers and scientists were fretting about a die-off of some 60 percent of coral colonies around the island. Today, there's evidence of new coral life.
Caroline Rogers, a coral reef ecologist, brought back the photographic proof she discovered "a hidden stash" of coral beneath the waters of Hurricane Hole, near Coral Bay. This picture is an example of what she found. Click on it to see a larger version.
An ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Rogers said, "the abundance and diversity of the corals, the sheer number of different species (30) … is unique."
No other similar mangrove ecosystems, with such a high diversity of corals, are known to exist in the Caribbean or the Virgin Islands, she wrote.
- Rogers' discovery was reported by OurAmazingPlant.com and TreeHugger.com . A portfolio of her photos is here.
- Travel photographer Andrew Burnett, previously, posted a video of mangrove diving at Hurricane Hole. You can watch it here.
- Caroline Rogers' report of her find is available here