Inspecting Coral Reef

Drew Harvell (EEB), ACSF associate director of environment, has been traveling in Indonesia as part of her project to study the health of coral reefs and marine ecosystems 

Drew Harvell: Diving into the Coral Triangle

January 30, 2013

Inspecting Coral Reef

Drew Harvell (EEB), ACSF associate director of environment, has been traveling in Indonesia as part of her project to study the health of coral reefs and marine ecosystems. In a recent blog entry for NYTimes.com, she describes her scientific mission and how marine protected areas affect the health of coral reefs:

Drew HarvellDrew Harvell (EEB)

Our goal is to save the spectacular biodiversity of Indonesia’s seas, which are threatened by an unholy trio of coastal pollution, climate change and habitat destruction. We are working on coral reefs, which are the most biodiverse marine habitat, and Indonesia, within the Coral Triangle, is at the center of marine biodiversity.

What does it mean to be in the Coral Triangle at the center of marine biodiversity? It means there are roughly 590 species of reef-building coral here, more than any other region on the planet. Compare that with about 67 species in the Caribbean. There are also almost 4,000 species of tropical fishes in Indonesia.

Clownfish in coralHarvell posted a second blog entry at NYTimes.com, “Living Reefs, Under Fire”

Our scientific mission is twofold: to measure the health of coral inside Marine Protected Areas in Indonesia, and to assess sites that could be included in the new Capturing Coral Reef Ecosystem Services program in Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Pacific Islands.

Read Drew Harvell’s NYTimes.com account of her work on Indonesia’s coral reefs.