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2007 Florida Keys Mission
Mission info 2007 Nancy Foster Cruise

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: Mission Plan

This year's cruise plan includes sampling 50 stations on coral reefs along much of the Florida Reef Tract, from the Dry Tortugas to reefs off Key Largo. Each station is permanently marked by a length of stainless-steel pipe that was hammered into the reef. Data are collected within a 2-meter-wide radial arc 8-10 meters from the central length of pipe. Divers use a marked line to swim slowly around the arc and collect quantitative observations on corals, diseases, and bleaching.

Florida Keys Map
Map of the Florida Keys.
On Sept. 23, the Nancy Foster will depart from Key West to cruise overnight to Dry Tortugas National Park, and divers will conduct surveys at Sand Key and Rock Key Reefs off Key West. From Sept. 24-26, sampling will be done at Bird Key, White Shoals, Loggerhead Reef, Pulaski Shoal, and Sherwood Forest in the Park and the Tortugas Ecological Reserve. After an overnight cruise, scientists will survey Looe Key and Sombrero Key Reefs on Sept. 27. On Sept. 28, the Nancy Foster will be stationed at Carysfort and Molasses Reefs, followed by Eastern and Western Sambo Reefs on Sept. 29 and concluding with Eastern Dry Rocks and Rock Key Reef on Sept. 30.

In addition to the coral reef surveys, the Nancy Foster will be used to collect multibeam data as much as possible.

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