Aquatic Robotics

Robots Help Protect Endangered Coral

Posted 10 May 2003 at 15:46 UTC by steve Share This

UNCW's Phantom S-2 and other undersea robots are being used to study the coral reefs of the Oculina banks off Florida this week. Over 90% of the endangered coral there has been destroyed by commercial fishing. Oculine banks has been a Marine Protected Area since 2000 but that protection will expire in 2004 unless scientists can complete a new study showing the need for continued and increased protection. NASA has donated the use of the Liberty Star, one of their solid booster recovery ships. The ship is serving as the base of operations for the robots to gather data and coral samples. Read more about the study in a recent AP article in either the Sarasota Herald-Tribune or the Charlotte Observer. See also the HBOI article or the official Oculina Banks Project website for the project.

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