The Brewers Bay Ecosystem Analysis Project
BREWERS BAY beach
The Center for Marine & Environmental Studies (CMES) is uniquely located literally steps away from Brewers Bay Beach. Taking advantage of this resource, research efforts are coalesced into this area, generating a body of baseline data which researchers may build upon. The Brewers Bay Ecosystem Analysis Project (B-BEAP) naturally promotes inter-disciplinary questions and facilitates participation among UVI faculty and students, k-12 teachers and students, and the general public.
Research faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and even visiting researchers benefit from and add to the data acquired within Brewers Bay. To date, two years worth of information on ocean current patterns is available, as are habitat maps newly revised in 2017, marine diversity data, and an ever growing body of information on critically endangered sea turtles.
Notably, the influence of benthic habitats and oceanographic processes on marine organism abundance, distribution and movement patterns are monitored using acoustic telemetry to track animal responses to environmental changes. This study's format is replicated at St. Croix's East End Marine Park in collaboration with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.
This project develops five key target areas including oceanography (physical, chemical, biological), benthic habitats (composition, structure, distribution), mobile marine organisms (animal tracking, abundance and distribution), watersheds (linkages to marine environment), and human dimensions (resources use, perceptions, attitudes and behaviors, oral and written history, policy and management, economic value, ecosystem services.)
current and ongoing Research*
*Not a comprehensive list
Halophila stipulacea continues to thrive in the Caribbean. It is tenacious and competes efficiently for space with native seagrasses.