Back to Tela!

I’m headed back to Tela, Honduras tomorrow for two back-to-back trips. Bags are packed to the hilt![<- that link to an instagram packing reel I’m probably too proud of] My suitcases are full of loads of scientific gear, including an awesome stereomicroscope that we can use to look for coral babies on the settlement tiles we left on the reef last fall.

The first trip is a partnership between Tela Coral (we’ve rebranded from Amigos de los Corales de Tela, which was just too much of a mouthful) and Families in Nature. It’s an all-ages citizen science expedition. One of our main aims will be investigating the differences between a “dead” zone (perhaps because of a chemical spill) and the healthy reef through transect surveys and sediment samples. We’re also going to build out a coral ID book for Tela. What’s more: we will be carrying a WINGS World Quest flag with us. Check out all they do to support women explorers. Such an honor!

The second trip is my debut collaboration with Adzentures. It’s going to be an awesome trip, full of diving, hiking, birding, yoga, and exploring. We have the thrill of being in Tela for the 500th anniversary of the town. It’s going to be fabulous!

From reports the coral in Tela did bleach a bit in the heat of last fall. But contrary to elsewhere, they didn’t die. No one knows why. No one understands this place; it’s so weirdly healthy. That’s why Tela Coral launched an emergency campaign to build a gene bank in Tela, to pull the rare health corals — especially critically endangered elkhorn — from the water and secure their genetic biodiversity. It’s blown all of us away to receive donations from around the world for this project in amounts as low as $5 and we’ll be able to present our Honduran partners with a substantial grant to get off the ground. We still need more funding to finish building, secure the corals, and keep the bank going, so if you want to do something very direct to support the most foundational animals in the sea, this is a great option. I’ll be sure to post when I get back!

Hasta pronto, Tela!

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