This is the only Field Program in Mauritius that offers the opportunity to snorkel, go out in a glass-bottom boat, and explore a mangrove forest! Participants will do more than just see these exciting areas—they will have the unique opportunity to engage in field studies about them under the guidance of local oceanographers and marine biologists.
Travel to La Morne, a striking peninsula with pristine beaches on the southwest coast of Mauritius, and split into three groups. Each group will rotate through three different beaches and activities.
- Meet coastal communities and artisanal fishermen in traditional villages
- Participate in a mangrove survey restoration project by taking mangrove counts and samples
- Learn about the benefits of mangroves as a major tool for climate change resilience
- Learn about the importance of oceanography as a tool to help coastal communities to be resilient to the impacts of climate change
- Coral and Snorkeling
- Enter the water for snorkeling
- Learn how oceanographers identify species and levels of degradation of ocean floor flora and fauna
- Engage in these practical oceanographic activities to gather information on the exact area below
- Glass Bottom Boats
- Explore the lagoon with glass-bottom boats
- Learn about the environmental impacts of tourism on the marine environment
- Engage in assessments of the oceanographic characteristics of Le Morne
- Describe the role of mangroves in protecting coastlines from erosion and storms.
- Discuss mangrove adaptations to grow in saline waters.
- Analyze the relationship between mangroves and coral reefs.
- Describe the mangrove ecosystem including food webs and associated species.
- Appreciate mangroves as nurseries for fishes and other marine organisms.
- (4c) Explain the role of currents in species dispersal and transport.
- (5c) Recognize and interpret simple marine food webs, including the ability to identify various trophic levels and understand importance of break downs in a food web.
Coral and Snorkeling
- (3a) Describe a coral and coral reef. Are they plants/animals? Colonies? Hard/Soft? Multispecies?
- (3b) Identify where corals occur around the world and describe their basic requirements for survival
- (3c) Describe the coral reef ecosystem including food webs and associated species.
- (3e) Discuss environmental threats and human impacts to reef ecosystems (climate change, sea level rise, ocean acidification, overfishing, trawling, coastal development, ornamental fish collection, hurricanes, crown of thorn out breaks, disease, loss of top predators, eutrophication, etc.)
- (4c) Explain the role of currents in species dispersal and transport
- (5c) Recognize and interpret simple marine food webs, including the ability to identify various trophic levels and understand importance of break downs in a food web
- (5d) Define the term sustainable and discuss if most fish populations are sustainably caught or overfished.
- (5i) Identify other harmful impacts to marine habitats and ecosystems caused by fishing practices
- (10d) Discuss the consequences of ocean climate change including weather events, loss of sea ice, thermal expansion, sea level change, ocean acidification and impacts to thermohaline circulation
- (10 e) Give and recognize examples of organisms and ecosystems that are impacted by climate change
- (11 b) Explain why biodiversity is so important in the marine environment (health indicator/stability)
- Compare various aspects (food webs, symbiotic relationships, vulnerability to climate change etc) of mangroves and coral reefs
Glass Bottom Boat and Tourism
- Discuss the effects tourism has on the island
- Discuss differences between commercial tourism, ecotourism…..
- Observe and evaluate the interaction between tourists and the ocean environment
- Suggest solutions for sustainable tourism in Mauritius