In 2008, I did a 1-month pause on my PhD to embark myself into a conservation project in Colombia. The project aimed at starting a seagrass monitoring program in the Tayrona Natural National Park, and it was successfully completed due to the joint forces put into it by researchers from the University of Magdalena and the INVEMAR, the global seagrass monitoring network SeagrassNet and local stakeholders.
About the location
The Tayrona Natural National Park has 3000 ha of marine area in which lush seagrass meadows are found. For all the values the park has, it was included in the Biosphere Reserva of Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta by the UNESCO in 1982, within the Program Man and Biosphere.
We invited and involved into the project director Dr. Fred Short from SeagrassNet. This is a scientific global monitoring program based at the University of New Hampshire (USA) that investigates and documents the status of seagrass resources worldwide and the threats to this important and imperiled marine ecosystem. The program started in 2001 in the Western Pacific and now includes many sites throughout the world; a global monitoring protocol and web-based data reporting system has been established. Their ultimate aim is to preserve the seagrass ecosystem by increasing scientific knowledge and public awareness of this threatened coastal resource.
- SeagrassNet eNews, issue #3, August 2009. SeagrassNet in Colombia, South America.
- Carmen B. de los Santos. Pastos marinos en el punto de mira de la Universidad del Magdalena.
- Universidad del Magdalena. Boletín de prensa 016. Universidad del Magdalena, primera institución en Colombia vinculada a la Red de Monitoreo Mundial de Pastos Marinos SeagrassNet.