CMRC, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, University of Havana Partnership to Study Coral Reef Health is Off and Away
In September 2014, scientists representing Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Centro de Investigaciones Marinas (CIM) of the University of Havana, Cuba Marine Research and Conservation Program (CMRC), and University of Maryland (UMD) gathered in Havana and Zapata Swamp to discuss research objectives and plan research cruises that will take place in 2015 as part of Proyecto Tres Golfos (P3G). P3G is funded by a grant from the Dalio Explore Fund via WHOI with supplemental funding provided by CMRC. P3G will investigate microbial to macro-organismal diversity, functioning and status among Cuba’s three largest and most productive bodies of water. The second P3G research cruise will take place in January 2015 to the Gulf of Batabanó.
The P3G research plan combines basic research of patterns and processes with conservation targets such as ecosystem health, threats, education, and the enforcement and enhancement of marine protected areas. Special emphasis will be given on Cuban scientists are being trained in cutting edge protocols introduced by CMRC, WHOI and UMD, further building the capacity of Cuban scientists. WHOI and UMD’s objective to study water column and coral-associated microbial communities is an important new component of P3G.
Participatingin the workshop were Dr. Jorge Angulo, Dr. Maickel Armenteros and Dr. Patricia González (CIM), Fernando Bretos and Dr. Daria Siciliano (CMRC/The Ocean Foundation), Dr. Amy Apprill (WHOI), Dr. Alyson Santoro (UMD).
CMRC is excited to get started on what will be new research in Cuban waters that will help build capacity for Cuban scientists.