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Studying Coral Health in St. Thomas, USVI | by usepagov
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Studying Coral Health in St. Thomas, USVI

Coral reefs are among the world's richest ecosystems, second only to tropical rain forests in plant and animal diversity.


They are also extremely sensitive environments that have special temperature, salinity, light, oxygen, and nutrient needs. If environmental conditions shift or worsen from pollution or other disruption, the health of a coral reef ecosystem can suffer. EPA divers Becky Hemmer and Mel Parsons record observations on coral condition.


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These divers are from Region 2, where EPA more locally serves New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight tribal nations.


Photo by Charles Lobue, U.S. EPA

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Taken on January 25, 2012