Kayla places a captured lionfish safely in a vinyl bag.
Old structures support new life
Artificial structures allow settlement of reef species such as this soft coral
Corals, sea fan, worms, and other encrusting organisms cover the submerged section of the moat
Snorkeling around the fort
The shallow waters surrounding the fort make for excellent snorkeling, even for kids. Just make sure you keep those fins off the bottom to avoid damaging delicate creatures like this coral and Christmas Tree Worms!
Sea grass self portrait
Sea grass is abundant in the Dry Tortugas.
Sea grass in the shallows of Fort Jefferson
Visitors to the fort can explore sea grass beds right off the beach.
Shallow sea grass habitat is critical for foraging sea turtles, and provides a home to many types of fish and invertebrates, like sea biscuits and the Queen Conch
Sea grass, soft corals, and juvenile fish all inhabit the shallows off the moat wall. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida.
Jenn Sweatman preparing for a survey dive
Bernie Altmeier, Captain of the Explorer II
Rachel Decker preparing for a survey dive
Rachel noting the abundance of seagrass inside the quadrate
Jenn noting the abundance of seagrass inside the quadrate
Returning to the boat
Rachel and Jenn swim back to the boat after a successful survey dive
Kirk Gastrich and Elizabeth "Z" Lacey enter the water for the next dive
Kirk gives the all OK sign as he prepares to mark the end of the transect
Laying the tape
Justin laying the tape for seagrass transect
Justin collecting data
Justin examining the contents of a quadrate in an area with dense seagrass
Split with fish
Silversides and a juvenile Porkfish off Loggerhead Key
Purple sea fan
Sea fan off Loggerhead Key.
Loggerhead Key from the water
The lighthouse on Loggerhead Key from the water.
Kayla searching for Lionfish
Gull on Piling
A Gull hangs out on an old piling off Garden Key
Under the piers
Tarpon and Snappers among a baitball of silversides