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Oceanic Society's Blackbird Caye Field Station (Turneffe Atoll, Belize)

December 13 2014
We study and protect the marine life of Turneffe Atoll (the largest & most biologically diverse coral atoll in the Western Hemisphere). We will use OpenROV to document the stunning marine biodiversity and habitats.

December 13 2014


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Expedition Background

Turneffe Atoll is the largest and most biologically diverse coral atoll in the Western Hemisphere. Located 25 miles east of Belize City and surrounded by deep oceanic waters, Turneffe is approximately 30 miles long and 10 miles wide.

The islands, some larger than 5,000 acres, are covered by at least 77 different vegetation types. Mangrove forests are interspersed with brackish lagoons, covering most of the low-lying areas. A reef crest and magnificent shallow coral buttresses is followed by reef rim on the outer reef drop-off. Oceanic Society has been working to study and protect the marine life of Turneffe Atoll for more than a decade, and we have owned and operated our Blackbird Caye Field Station on Turneffe Atoll since 2001.

This expedition aims to document the marine biodiversity, and share the information with scientists, citizen scientists, and educators.


I'm excited about the chance to see you report back videos and images of the Turneffe atoll. A very interesting expedition into an alien world.

Thank you Michael! We're excited too.

Wow! What a field station! Are there other human residents or is the scientific outpost the only habitation in the atoll?

There is a dive resort, a fishing lodge, and a fishermens' camp. It's pretty remote. We're excited to get the ROV out in the water!

Hope all is well! Miss you up North! How are things going in Belize?

Hi. Things are good down here. Unfortunately, our ROV is taking in some water. I have a colleague coming back in June with another ROV, which will get some water time. I can't wait. I want others to see the incredible biodiversity, as well as the current state of the reefs. Thank you!