Coral research vessel.jpg

Coral research vessel

The coral research vessel is seen in front of Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas National Park. The Coral Reef/Hardbottom Monitoring Project uses this vessel to conduct most of FWC's coral reef monitoring efforts. The R/V Tortugas was named in honor of the coral research and camaraderie of the scientists who worked there in the 1970's and 1980's. The vessel is a 37 foot 1979 Stapleton, substantially modified from her original pleasure boat configuration. She carries a crew of 6-9 staff, 18 scuba tanks, a scuba compressor to fill the tanks and coral sampling gear at a hair-whipping 18 knots!

Image Credit: FWC

FWC Facts:
Seagrasses occupy only 0.1 percent of the sea floor, yet are responsible for 12 percent of the organic carbon buried in the ocean, which helps reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide.

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