We are currently in Raja Ampat surveying the reefs for Crown of Thorn’s and coral disease. A finely spun web intertwines tourism. development, coral health and COT’s in an interesting story that challenges local communities with preserving their reefs and making a living. We are working with the local Home Stay Association, to help bring snorkel equipment so that families can protect their reefs from the COT’s outbreak. However the outbreak is one of the symptoms of the growing tourism, as development of home stays, resorts, and liveaboards increases, so does the nutrients and sediment that enter onto the pristine reefs. This causes disease in corals, and is one of the causes to the 7 year COT’s outbreak. To learn how you can help, please click on Projects/ Raja Ampat.
Dupont Circle is a long way from the tropical islands of Indonesia, but a dive shop at 18th and S streets NW called Blue Planet Scuba has become the mustering point for an international effort to combat a coral-eating monster.
“They’re nasty little buggers,” Bruce Butterworth said of the crown-of-thorns starfish, or COT.
The COT — scientific name: Acanthaster planci — is not a cute little starfish. It’s more H.R. Giger than Walt Disney.
“Think of the Blob, with multiple tentacles,” said Butterworth, a transportation security consultant who lives in Springfield, Va.
Checkout Bruce’s Facebook Post on the aventure too!