VI National Park in peril

Coral The Virgin Islands National Park is endangered by climate change, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization.  The park is especially threatened by rising global temperatures, as are 24 other of the country’s 351 national parks.

“In 2005, the Caribbean basin saw unprecedented water temperatures and some dramatic bleaching, followed by coral disease and mortality,” the U.S. Climate Chance Science Program found last year.

“The most dramatic monitored bleaching took place in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where National Park monitoring showed that at some sites 90 percent of the coral bleached. To date there is an estimated 50 percent combined mortality from bleaching and disease in the Virgin Island National Park surveys. As of yet, there are no reports of recovery as amounts of mortality continue to increase.”

Other likely effects of global warming for the VINP include higher seas, stronger storms, more downpours and flooding, the report said. 

8 thoughts on “VI National Park in peril”

  1. Since this report is baseless with no supporting evidence is should be considered to be the opinion of groups with whom the concept of “global warming” brings financial gain.

  2. hahaha… you’re _funny_!
    good thing we weren’t discussing the dinosaurs [who never existed, their bones were ‘planted’ there by a higher power], or the age or shape of the earth [10,000 years, and flat, of course!]

  3. The primary ecological crises in the VIs is too many of us. The regional population has increased 10x in 50 years. Humans dumping efluent, automobile runoff (crankcase oil, etc), construction silt, oil from 2 cycle outboard motors . . . are the primary impact on the reef system. “Data” on warming in a site like this is speculative at best.

  4. I don’t know why people think this is funny or not real. Between 2004 and 2007, we saw a tremendous loss of coral on St. John. The worst was swimming out to Waterlemon Cay and finding one side of the island — which had been full of coral and fish — basically a bleached wasteland. It’s really sad.

  5. It’s certainly a terrible thing to see any living thing die including coral. And yes, there are those industries that profit from “global warming” no matter the cause, although causes we can do little about, such as the sun’s cycles, end up hurting the amount of Fed money to support any effort to lower the “warming” trend. There are studies that show that big yellow thing in the sky is one of the leading reasons why there are temperature cycles on earth. But, what we can do is promote safe boating practices, not dump waste into the oceans and simply try to do our part to keep things clean. I’ve seen more damage done by stupid boaters and jet skiers than anything else. To see a jet skier with total disregard for what’s under the water and see the left over floating plant life debris is upsetting.

  6. Coral Bleaching occurs from high water temperature. That’s it. Pollution and all of the other effects may contribute, but bleaching is from warm water.

  7. Bleaching, or what looks like bleaching (no color) also occurs from certain kinds of sealife that tend to produce in many more numbers due to certain kinds of pollution and they tend to migrate heavily closer to shores (where most snorkelers see coral) when conditions are poor. They eat the healthy coral and leave it completely without color. I’ve seen this first hand. Certain kinds of starfish will devour the healthy coral in a matter of hours. I’ve seen them move into a bay due to pollution elsewhere and devour beautiful coral. Yes, any fluctuation in water temperature (up or down) in any particluar area can adversely affect sealife that’s used to a certain climate. The many reasons for those temperature fluctuations and/or cycles are the controversy. But, pollution can and does contribute to the demise of coral, just in an indirect way. I just got back from studying this in the South Pacific.

Leave a Comment