Current Projects

These are some of our top projects currently underway, either undertaken independently or through collaboration with local and international organizations.

July 2021 - August 2024

Strengthening the recovery of Nassau grouper in Puerto Rico

 

Funded by NOAA's Endangered Species Act Section 6 program, awarded to the Dept. of Natural & Environmental Resources, Isla Mar has been contracted to carry out the tasks of monitoring the last known Nassau grouper spawning aggregation in Puerto Rico. Other tasks include locating juvenile critical habitat and working with enforcement to educate about closures and species ID. 
PI: Harms-Tuohy
Co-PIs: Tuohy, Scharer, Zayas

July 2019 - August 2022

Using eDNA to locate fish spawning aggregations

 

Funded by NOAA's Saltonstall-Kennedy program, Isla Mar was awarded this grant to explore the use of the unique sampling strategy called environmental DNA (eDNA) to search for target grouper and snapper species within specific sites around the west and southwest coasts. This project is groundbreaking for the field of fisheries management.
PI: Harms-Tuohy
Co-PIs: Tuohy, Schizas, Appeldoorn

March 2021 - July 2022

Investigating the use of recycled glass sand for coral reef restoration

 

Sponsored by the local brewery, Medalla, our team is working to establish a sustainable solution to the glass bottle waste issue on the island by turning it into useable sand to incorporate into coral reef restoration. This exciting project will plant 300 coral fragments and observe their growth over the course of one year to test the suitability of using the recycled glass sand for this type of restoration purpose. Read more about it here.
PI: Isla Mar and HJR Reefscaping

June 2019 - August 2023

Monitoring and locating nurse shark aggregations in Puerto Rico

 

Funded by the PR Dept. of Natural and Environmental Resources, this project explores aggregation sites for the locally protected nurse shark. A small population of sharks will be tagged and monitored over two years. This project will set the baseline population estimate for this species in Puerto Rico.
PI: HJR Reefscaping and Isla Mar

Projects Concluding in 2021:

Documenting parrotfish spawning aggregations in the Caribbean  | Caribbean Fishery Management Council

Characterizing the critical habitat of juvenile Nassau grouper  | Caribbean Fishery Management Council

Past Projects

2020

National Coral Reef Monitoring Program  | NOAAwith HJR Reefscaping
Improving the Field Training of Fish Surveyors using Tablet Technology (Artedi)  | SeaGrant

Evaluation of the Tarpon Mark and Recapture Project at Boquerón Impoundment  | DNER

2019

Documenting the Fish Communities of Hacienda La Esperanza | Para La Naturaleza
Coral Reef Restoration of the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve | NFWF, with HJR Reefscaping
NCRMP Fish Calibration Part 1 | NOAA, with HJR Reefscaping
Rapid Response Assessment of MCEs after Two Hurricanes | NSFwith UPR-Mayaguez

2018

Tres Palmas MR Citizen Science Project | SeaGrantwith Amigos de Tres Palmas
Monitoring Grouper Spawning Aggregations in Puerto Rico | NOAAwith HJR Reefscaping
Pass on Parrotfish Social Media Campaign | The Nature Conservancy in the Caribbean
Assessing distribution and abundance of coral reef sharks in Puerto Rico | Global FinPrint
Coral cores of Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems in Puerto Rico | USGSwith UPR Mayaguez

2017

Coral Ecosystem Connectivity, Pulley Ridge to the Florida Keys | NOAAwith UPR-Mayaguez
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems Cruise | with UPR-Mayaguez
National Coral Reef Monitoring Program Puerto Rico | NOAA, with HJR Reefscaping
Coral coring on MCEs to assess accretion rates, habitat composition | NatGeo, with UPR-Mayaguez

National Coral Reef Monitoring Program Puerto Rico | NOAA, with HJR Reefscaping
Monitoring Grouper Spawning Aggregations in Puerto Rico | NOAAwith HJR Reefscaping
Comparing Diver vs. Towed Video Surveys of Queen Conch | NOAA,  with UMES

2012 -

2016