Smithsonian Physical Monitoring Network
    Real Time Environmental Monitoring Program

Learn about
CCRE

Site

Data

Return

Carrie Bow Cay

The National Museum of Natural History operates a marine research laboratory in Belize.  The marine laboratory is located on a 0.71 acre island, Carrie Bow Cay, located 10 miles offshore on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.  Once considered pristine, the barrier reef ecosystem offers researchers diversity in reef structures, habitat types (coral reefs, mangrove swamps, sea grass communities, open-ocean and deep-sea floor) and animal and plant species.  The Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems Program (CCRE), the umbrella program under which Carrie Bow Cay station has operated for 40 years, has produced vital information for comparative studies with other reef ecosystems to assess biodiversity and to correlate environmental factors with biological phenomena and hazards (competition, parasitism, algal blooms, coral bleaching and invertebrate disease).

To support research efforts at the marine laboratory, an environmental monitoring system was established in the summer of 1997. Unfortunately the system was lost in a devastating fire that destroyed the Carrie Bow Cay research facilities in November 1997. The marine research laboratory was rebuilt and reopened for scientific research activities in 2001. As part of the rebuilding effort, a new environmental monitoring system (EMS) was designed and went into operation in September 2000. The EMS continually monitors real time meteorological (wind speed/direction, solar radiation, rain rate/accumulation, barometric pressure, air temperature, and relative humidity), oceanographic (water level, temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, and turbidity, clorophyll, blue-green algae, and FDOM), and system conditions. Measurements are taken every six minutes.


Site and System
Details
 
 
 
Coordinates
 Latitude
 
 Longitude
16° 48.173'N
 
88° 4.928'W