Steneck cited in National Geographic cover story on saving the world’s oceans
Bob Steneck is cited in the February 2017 issue of National Geographic magazine, which includes a package on the importance of saving the world’s oceans. The University of Maine oceanographer was interviewed for an article about conservation of Buck Island off St. Croix in the Caribbean. Despite President John F. Kennedy creating an 880-acre Buck Island Reef National Monument in 1961, nearby overfishing and disease nearly wiped out elkhorn coral in the 70s and 80s. “I was a coroner at that point,” said Steneck, who is based at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, Maine. Later, Hurricane Hugo and an increase in ocean temperatures also took a toll on the corals and President Bill Clinton expanded the size of the monument to more than 19,000 acres. In 2014, Steneck found beautiful young elkhorns on the southern side of Buck Island. He also saw parrotfish and groupers. Other researchers said the conservation of Buck Island provides hope that with proper management other Caribbean reefs can rebound.