We've learned early on that poor water quality is the Reef's Number 1 threat. So we have devoted ourselves to working as a primary effort, identifying its origins.
Therefore, in 2018 we started the water quality monitoring program under the auspices of The Nature Conservancy. Using the YSI ProDSS multisensor we can collect parameters of: temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, PH, turbidity and Salinity.
These parameters are indicators of water quality, they tell us if a body of water is healthy or not. They all interact and have a direct relationship. Conductivity is the ability of positive and negative ions to conduct electricity in water. In other words, we can determine how salty the water is through conductivity. A high conductivity number can indicate high salinity, the lower the conductivity, the sweeter the water. This measurement allows us to determine if there is rainwater or runoff reaching the Reserve. This runoff water can carry contaminants such as oils and sanitary overflows. The PH tells us how acidic or alkaline the water can be. One of the factors that kills corals is the acidity of the water, a low pH number.
This pH should be kept close to 8. Dissolved oxygen is very important as all species found on the reef need oxygen in the water. A body of water with a low percentage of dissolved oxygen causes kills in fish and crustaceans. In other words, the higher the dissolved oxygen the better we are. The turbidity level tells us how “opaque” the water is due to the presence of sediment and dissolved material. The reef needs clear and transparent waters. Therefore, high levels of turbidity are one of the great threats to corals. A high level of turbidity indicates that the corals do not receive the sunlight they need. If monitoring is important, more important is the interpretation that we give to those results so that we can know and understand the element where we move, THE WATER.
This are the points we monitor:
Weekly, every Wednesday, we collect water quality samples. The results are published on our Facebook page Arrecifes Pro Ciudad.
Before each measurement we perform the calibrations according to the YSI guidelines.
Thanks to the EPA Equipment Lending Program we can now enter the second stage of the Water Quality Program of the Arrecife de la Isla Verde Marine Reserve. This novel laboratory on our urban coast has been made possible thanks to RJ de Pedro Muñoz, Rachael Leta Graham from the EPA, the Chelonia group and Steve Tamar from the Surfrider Foundation. THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Poor water quality is the number one threat that riddles our urban reefs.