BELIZE, GLOVER'S REEF

James Powell (jpowell at BTL.NET)
Sat, 10 Feb 1996 01:21:55 +0200

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Glover's Reef Marine Research Station
Wildlife Conservation Society

P.O. Box 2310
Belize City,
Belize, Central America
Tel: 501-2-33855
FAX: 501-2-31963
E-mail: jpowell at btl.net or jcarter at mailbox.une.edu

Glover's Reef atoll and marine reserve is located approximately 50 km off
the coast of central Belize. It is considered to be one of the most
pristine and important coral reef sites in the Caribbean. Due to the
isolation of Glover's Reef atoll, there is little influence from coastal
sedimentation or pollution. It is considered to be one of the most ideal
sites in the world to conduct coral reef research (Dahl, MacIntyre &
Antonius. 1974. A comparative survey of coral reef research sites. In:
Marie-Helene Sachet and Arthur Dahl. Atoll Research Bulletin. 172: 37-75.).
Consequently, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in cooperation with
the Government of Belize has established a permanent research station at
Middle Cay located on Glover's Reef. WCS along with the Government of
Belize would like to invite scientists and graduate level students who are
interested in working at Glover's Reef to contact James Powell at
jpowell at btl.net or Jacque Carter at jcarter at mailbox.une.edu for more
information.

The marine reserve at Glover's Reef atoll is a major component of a general
comprehensive program for coastal zone management for Belize, Central
America. In a broad sense the reserve was established to maintain
ecological processes, preserve genetic diversity, achieve sustainable yields
of its resources through wise management of species and their habitats,
maintain natural areas for education and research and provide social, and
economic benefits through ecologically sensitive recreation and tourism.
Keenly aware of the need to protect this world class resource, the Wildlife
Conservation Society (WCS) purchased the island of Middle Cay, situated at
the southern end of the atoll for the purposes of providing a marine park
headquarters for the Government of Belize and to establish a marine research
field station. WCS has completed construction of this facility and now
provides a base of operations for park rangers and scientists alike.

WCS's over-arching mission is to provide for the long-term conservation and
protection of Glover's Reef atoll. To accomplish this goal, WCS is working
in close collaboration with the government of Belize to develop a
coordinated research and management program for the atoll. WCS's primary
responsibility in this partnership is scientific research. In the coming
years, we hope that the research on Glover's Reef atoll will lead to a
better understanding and management of this coral reef. The Comparative
Investigations of Tropical Reef Ecosystems (CITRE) program identified
Glover's Reef as the most preferred site in the Caribbean for "long-term,
multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional investigation of coral reef
ecosystems" (Dahl, MacIntyre & Antonius. 1974. A comparative survey of
coral reef research sites. In: Marie-Helene Sachet and Arthur Dahl. Atoll
Research Bulletin. 172: 37-75.). The authors reported, "In contrast to the
other reefs surveyed in the Caribbean area, Glover's Reef atoll appears to
offer the greatest variety of reef types, and the optimum reef development
in terms of population density and species diversity of reef corals and
associated organisms". In addition to Glover's Reef, Belize's extensive
barrier reef is 30 km away.

The WCS research station on Glover's Reef atoll is located on Middle Cay.
The present facility includes a ranger station and visitor's centre, a dry
laboratory and work area, dining and cooking facilities (meals are provided
and we have an excellent cook), and current housing for eight scientists
and/or students. There are boats, air compressor and SCUBA tanks for
researcher support. Aquarium facilities will soon be installed. The
station is completely self-sufficient with full-time electricity (110 vac)
provided by a complementary system of wind and solar power. Fresh water is
available through a de-salination plant (soon to be installed) and
rain-water catchment. Refrigeration is available. Toilet facilities are
state-of-the-art pollution-free, containment composition type. One aim of
the station is to utilize, whenever possible, non-polluting and energy
efficient technology.

WCS invites any scientists or students interested in using the Glover's Reef
Research Station to please contact: Glover's Reef Marine Research
Station, P.O. Box 2310, Belize City, Belize or Tel. 501-2-33855 or fax
501-2-31963. E-mail messages can be sent to: jpowell at btl.net or
jcarter at mailbox.une.edu .

*************************************
James A. Powell
Glover's Reef Marine Research Station
P.O. Box 2310
Belize City, Belize
e-mail: jpowell at btl.net
ph: (501)2-33855