The organization Mercy Corps, in collaboration with other entities, is leading several environmental recovery and rehabilition projects around Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The goal is to attract tourism and improve the economy.
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Corals have an extraordinary ecological role. They serve as the main habitat for thousands of species and are the base of the coastal food web. Corals also protect from coastal erosion, to mitigate greenhouse gases and global warming, to boost the fishing industry, and to serve as places for tourism and recreation. However, in the last decades, many corals have been dying. The attackers are many: turbidity, sedimentation, fecal contamination, climate change and even military bombs.
Aviva Hope Rutkin (translated by Mónica Feliú-Mójer)
Visiting scientist Guillermo Yudowski wants to make sea anemones happy.
Every morning, he arrives at his MBL laboratory and looks into a group of plastic tanks. Inside are samples of Aiptasia pallida, a hardy strain of anemone found in abundance near the University of Puerto Rico, where Yudowski conducts neurobiological research. Happy A. pallida, he says, are “colorful and open”; sad ones are closed and white. The white samples are near death and will only last three to four days in their containers.