Lagniappe II Coral Reef Restoration Monitoring Report Monitoring Events 2001 to 2010 Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Monroe County, Florida

Authors:
Hatsue Bailey and Scott Donahue
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Conservation
Lagniappe II Coral Reef Restoration Monitoring Report Monitoring Events 2001 to 2010 Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Monroe County, Florida (652K)
This document presents the results of a restoration and four subsequent monitoring events designed to track the recovery of coral habitat restored after injury involving a nearshore patch reef within the boundaries of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). The Lagniappe II, a 12 m cabin cruiser, ran aground on a patch reef near Boca Chica Key in August 2002. The damage to the reef involved a path of injury which impacted approximately 35 m2 of living coral. The majority of the resulting coral fragments were quickly triaged and used for subsequent restoration activities that attempted to recreate the benthic structure as it had existed prior to the grounding. The majority of the stony coral injured consisted of Montastraea faveolata, a primary reef building species in the Florida Keys.

Structural restoration was completed in October 2002 and permanent transect lines were established for long-term, digital photographic comparisons of restoration and adjacent "un-impacted" reference areas in order to track patterns of recovery. Coral Point Count with Excel extensions (CPCe) was used to analyze coral benthic coverage. Monitoring occurred at zero, two, seven, and eight years after the restoration was completed. Results showed that by 2010 the mean percent cover of coral was generally lower in the control transect than in the restored transect. The methodology used to restore the injury at the Lagniappe II vessel grounding site supports the intended restoration objectives of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.

Keywords: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, vessel grounding, damage assessment, coral, macroalgae, monitoring, Coral Point Count analysis

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