Submitted by Susan Hieter of Reef Check Guam
The students of St. Johns School of Guam's Marine Science class completed their EcoDiver/Snorkeler Reef Check survey on May 19, 2011 at Ypao Beach in Tumon Bay, Guam. The students who participated are 10th and 11th graders at the school. Some of my students are snorkelers rather than divers, so we surveyed this area because it is a snorkel reef. Tumon Bay is a tourist beach where many snorkelers observe the coral. Another characteristic of the area which makes it ideal for monitoring is that it experiences numerous tide changes, and some of the reef is exposed at low tide. The corals here are at risk, but with the help of the lifeguards and other environmentally-conscious people, they are making a comeback. We plan to survey this area biannually to monitor the reef’s health, and hope to see regular improvements. Unfortunately, invertebrates and large indicator fish are scarce. The goal for this course is to promote awareness of the marine environment in my students, who in turn will pass this knowledge on to their parents, family and friends.