Hurricane Dorian Ravaged Bahamas’ Reefs, Researchers Find

The storm’s effects were uneven: About 30 percent of the country’s coral was destroyed, but some reefs appeared to be undamaged.

Comments: 12

  1. A report from Dive Guana in the Abacos 10/17/19: During my swim by at the reef next to nurseries the reef looked clean of fuzzy algae with a lot of new substrate exposed Corals appeared healthy. Sea grass next to it had been uprooted in some areas and sand had been swept away exposing bare rock that I had never seen in some areas. Under the ledges you could see where sand had been and about 2 feet of sand had been removed exposing rocks and dead coral heads that had previously been buried under the sand. Saw at least one overhang that had collapsed Only spent about 5 minutes there so this is just general observations. Then we ran up to the tunnels and spent about and hour in the water there Overall same impression as previous reef Looks almost sandblasted. Some large overhangs collapsed. Did notice 6 to 8 pieces of elk horn branches broken off. Some 6 -8 inches long and one piece about 24 inches long. They had not gone far from where they broken off and those that were in a safe place I left. There were a couple in areas where they would probably not survive so I moved them and a couple were on top of other corals so I relocated them. Where the breaks had occurred I was surprised to see new growth starting to cover the ends and there was very little algae overgrowth I took this a good sign General impression. Some damage definitely but it appears Mother Nature is taking care of itself Not sure how the deeper sites outside the reef fared but I suspect they did ok

  2. A Venn diagram of the coral environment would show the coral reef beds, set A, intersecting the deeply churning ocean waters, set B, with the resultant coral reef damage in the midst of this intersection. With the continuing coral damage from degradation of this ecosystem, today, the coral reef recovery period has been significantly extended. 2/14 F 12:50pm Greenville NC

  3. Have no worries. Rise in sea temperature, level, and acidity will finish off the coral reefs in the near future. Book your vacations soon to see what is still left of the coral reefs. This 'sentient' species is far too stupid to save the reefs.

  4. While we dither about actually doing more than just talk about climate change and the other environmental problems we face, the environment continues to change and not in our favor. CO2 ppm keeps rising and another 225,000 net humans were added to the planet today. It is looking more and more like we are incapable of doing the big changes that are definitely needed to slow down this train, much less reverse it. Namely, reduce human numbers humanely, transition our economy and civilization to something not only less consumptive and wasteful, but actually sustainable and able to exist in long term harmony with the natural world. I can see why so many scientists are saying we are past the no return tipping point.

  5. The reefs are dead. If not today then tomorrow. There will be 11,000,000,000 people by 2050. You can't have that many people and reefs. Or rain-forests. Or wild elephants. Or wild tigers. Or hump-back whales. Or monarch butterflies. Or much of anything. We have decided 'people' is the only thing we want.

  6. @Willt26 I does seem that we have opted for a quantity over quality when it comes to humans. 5000 kids will die today of preventable causes yet we will add 82 million more by the end of the year. As Ed abbey said, nothing that is wild or free or beautiful will survive the coming tidal wave of humans. It’s all the more ironic in that, in the end, neither will we.

  7. Absolutely tragic. At least I still have fond memories of diving there while the coral was healthy and beautiful.

  8. @JohnW13 reefs tend to recover quickly from these Cat 5 hurricane hits. It's the other factors (acidification, rising temps, sewage) that present much greater concern.

  9. A 2005 report from the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network which assessed reef damage in the Caribbean after historic bleaching and hurricanes during that year concluded the following: “Coral reefs have experienced these effects of hurricanes and survived for millions of years; however, in light of the rapidly changing climate, the ability of corals to recover from severe storms, while facing the combined effects of increasing thermal stress and ocean acidification, could be extinguished.”

  10. AAAAAAAGHHHHHH. That is all I have left to say.

  11. The world is coming to an end. No it's not. Scientists tell us that things change. Another cup of coffee and on to Jeff Bezo's purchase in California.

  12. I was in the Bahamas in the early part of the 2000 decade. Unless you were diving in the Warderick Wells National Park, there were no fish, no conch, and no marine life to see. The human population there had completely annihilated anything living near and land masses. Bahamanians used bleach to harvest fish, and destroyed habitats throughout the island chain. Add to the fact that Bahamanians pretty much dump their trash anywhere and everywhere, such that outside of tourist areas, the country looks like a landfill. Blaming climate change for the destruction of this environment ignores the real problem.