Group Title: Virgin Islands National Park press release
Title: Friends of Virgin Islands National Park receive grant for coral reef restoration project
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 Material Information
Title: Friends of Virgin Islands National Park receive grant for coral reef restoration project
Series Title: Virgin Islands National Park press release
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Virgin Islands National Park
Publisher: Virgin Islands National Park
Publication Date: 1999
Subject: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States Virgin Islands -- Saint John -- Virgin Islands National Park
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300640
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Canon Coral Restoration Project


April 9, 1999


John Garrison, president of Friends of Virgin Islands National Park,
announced today that the group received a $48,600 grant from Canon,
USA, Inc., through the National Park Foundation as part of the Expedition
into the Parks program.

The Friends will be partnering with the
National Park Service and the Biological
Resources Division of USGS in this exciting and
very important project aimed at the
restoration and conservation of the Park's
most valuable natural resources, the coral The Clean Earth
reefs which surround the island. C ompain
Russell Berry, Superintendent of Virgin Islands
National Park, said This project is of critical Ca lM O
importance to the Park. Our coral reefs have
declined alarmingly over the past decade, and this project will assist us in
learning how to restore these marvelous treasures for the enjoyment of
future generations.

Now in its third year, Expedition Into The Parks sends volunteers into the
National Parks to perform hands-on conservation and restoration work
under the direction of resource managers and scientists. Virgin Islands
National Park is one of 63 National Parks that since 1995 have received

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Canon Coral Restoration Project

Expedition funds from Canon USA, who has donated over $4.5 million in
cash and equipment to the NPS through the National Park Foundation. In
1999, Expedition is funding projects in 11 Parks with a donation of more
than $1 million in cash and equipment. Expedition Into The Parks is funded
through Canon USA's Clean Earth Campaign, which guides the company's
environmental initiatives. The National Park Foundation is the official
nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. Created by Congress in
1967, the Foundation raises support from corporations, foundations, and
individuals to preserve and enhance America's national parks. Over the
past five years, BPF has raised more than $42 million in direct support for
the National Parks.

Sn i Coral reefs in the Caribbean, including
National %Pa.rk those in our national parks, have sustained
F U N D A T ON damage from natural events (hurricanes,
coral predators and diseases) and human
activities (boat groundings, improper anchoring, overfishing,
sedimentation from development, elevated nutrients, SCUBA diving and
snorkeling). Recent studies have found little to no recovery of damaged
reefs. Some scientists believe reintroduction of coral colonies to damaged
reefs may initiate and speed up recovery. Little, however, is known
regarding the feasibility of growing fragments of fast growing corals which
could later be transplanted to a damaged site.

Fragments of three of the fastest growing coral species found in the
Caribbean will be attached to degraded reefs at underwater trails in Virgin
Islands National Park and Buck Island Reef National Monument; colony
survival and growth rates will be documented. Two of the proposed
species (elkhorn and staghorn coral) for transplantation have declined
greatly throughout the Caribbean, including Virgin Islands National Park
and Buck Island Reef National Monument. Underwater signs will interpret
the project and the causes of damage to reefs; interpretive rangers will
discuss the project and damage to reefs as part of a snorkel tour. A locally
produced underwater video will be shown on local television, at Trunk Bay
(St. John) and local schools. The project will be highlighted in two
websites. Using photography, trained volunteers will monitor the survival
of transplanted fragments and naturally occurring small colonies of
elkhorn coral in three St. John bays and document the presence of disease
and coral predators. Scientists and resource managers will photograph and

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measure colony size of transplanted corals every six months for two years
at both the underwater trails and the three St. John bays. Feasibility of
using the technique for accelerating recovery of damaged reefs will be

Ginger Garrison, principal investigator for the project and a marine
biologist with USGS, said Canon USA and the National Park Foundation
have given the Virgin Islands community and Virgin Islands National Park a
wonderful opportunity. We are confident that by bringing scientists and
citizens together to work on this project, a way can be found to help
restore our fragile coral reefs which have been damaged by human
activities and nature.

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