By: Lucy Webb,`16, Sam McGoldrick, `15 and Nicole Litt, `15
On our second day at BIOS we were introduced to the deeper waters of Bermuda. We ventured out to the Rim Reefs, specifically North Rock. We found the back story of North Rock, a bombing target during the Second World War, to be awe-inspiring. This impacted us so much due to the fact that the corals at North Rock were so resilient. We want to bring back this sense of ecological awareness to GFA so we can preserve our own prescious ecosystem surrounding our school.
We were very intimidated at first by the open ocean and the many organisms that we encountered. We snorkeled around North Rock and entered the smaller reef bowl surrounding where we were more protected from the large surges heading our way. The snorkel was a great experience that lent us the opportunity to compare being able to snorkel around a reef versus SCUBA diving around a reef. For the SCUBA Dive we traveled back to Whale Bone Bay. In the midst of our dive in Whale Bone Bay we saw an imense amount of glass bottles and plastic debris on the sea floor showing us what can happen to litter on the beach. The experience was two fold, we were able to compare snorkeling and SCUBA Diving as well as comparing inner reefs to rim reefs.
After dinner we attended a lecture about the research project, BEACON, which focuses on Ocean Acidification and it’s affect on corals. We learned that Carbon Dioxide which causes the rise in acidification lowers the amount of Calcium Carbonate in the sea water which corals use to grow their limestone skeletons. The coral’s skeletons are important because they are the building blocks of a reef which protect landmasses from storms, house many organisms, create a comunity and promote biodiversity. The reefs provide humans with food and medicine as well as bring in a lot of tourism for the countries where the reefs are located. The cocolithophores are microscopic organisms that build Calcium Carbonate plates which build the organisms body, when they die these cocolithophores fall to the bottom of the water column trapping the carbon they used to build their bodies during growth. Overall, the day contained a good introduction to everyones part in taking care of the ecosystem. Small actions can create even larger results in both positive and negative ways.