WCS's Marine Program to explore Fiji’s “Sacred Reef”

Dr. Stacy Jupiter to Post Expedition Blogs on National Geographic News Watch

Bronx, N.Y. (May 31, 2011) – From June 1st to June 8th (World Ocean’s Day), Wednesday to Wednesday, WCS marine ecologists, working with the Pacific Blue Foundation and the Waitt Institute will conduct initial surveys of Fiji’s Totoya Island reef.  Sections of this remote reef are considered sacred by island villagers and are proposed for formal protection in recognition of World Ocean’s Day – June 8th, Wednesday.  Lying in the oceanic waters of the archipelago far from the influence of the central Fijian Islands, the reef holds exceptional value for cultural conservation as well as marine resource conservation. The researchers will conduct marine and terrestrial resource awareness workshops with local communities.
 
The expedition will provide a rare insight into a nearly pristine coral region in the eastern Fijian Islands. There is a possibility that unidentified and/or rare marine wildlife will be discovered and photographed. The team will be supported by a high tech research vessel.
 
Dr. Stacy Jupiter, WCS’s Fiji Director will post regular blogs reporting on the expedition and its discoveries. These posts and photographs by underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen will appear on National Geographic’s News Watch blog page; http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/ throughout the expedition.


Contact:
Stephen Sautner – 718-220-3682
; ssautner@wcs.org
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org

 

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