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Diving in Curaçao
Riana Clark, lab coordinator for the Explore More Life & Explore More Collections labs at Discovery Place Science, recently traveled to Curaçao with a group of Discovery Place educators and staff from different departments across all Museums to learn about coral reef research. Their goal is to bring the experience back to each Museum in the form of classes, exhibits, graphics and research with local scientists at local universities.
Moray eels, lionfish and schooling fish were the major highlights of our first day of diving in Curaçao as part of the SECORE International field workshop.
Our day began at 8:30 a.m. island time for a brief team meeting and to check out our gear.
By 10:00 a.m., we were suited up and ready to explore our first reef at the Water Factory. The main goal of this dive was to familiarize ourselves with the gear, dive masters and the new environment.
It was on that first dive we encountered a pretty massive surge, which lowered visibility considerably. Despite that, we were able to see an eel and a few lionfish, which are an invasive species to the Caribbean waters. After exploring for about 45 minutes at a depth of 45 feet, we were ready to call it quits.
Our second dive of the day began at 5:30 p.m. This dive was all business (or science). The goal: collect coral spawn.
Coral spawning occurs when hard corals release egg bundles at the same time creating a colorful blizzard. Even though that night the coral weren't quite ready, we were still able to see some amazing eels and a rather large parrot fish, with plans to return the following night when we were sure to see it.