Reef Injury Prevention and Response (RIPR) Program Removes Harmful Bottom Paint from an Orphan Grounding Site
Mollie Sinnott, Reef Injury Prevention and Response Coordinator & Melissa Sathe, Reef Injury Prevention and Response Technician
Pursuant to the Coral Reef Protection Act, it is illegal to damage coral reef resources. Often the responsible party (RP) can be identified in a reef injury event, but when the RP is unknown the area becomes known as an “orphan site.” The Reef Injury Prevention and Response Program (RIPR) was informed of an orphan injury site by divers from a partner agency, Miami-Dade County Division of Environmental Resources (DERM), which was characterized by patches of red bottom paint left behind from a grounded vessel. When this occurs, patches can prohibit the growth of corals or other reef animals, but can often be easily removed by trained staff . On September 4, 2014 a field team consisting of CRCP divers visited the site and successfully removed a majority of the bottom paint. The completion of this endeavor was significant because ultimately, the chances of coral growth and reef animal development increases, allowing for better development of the entire habitat.
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