The desolate coral head of what I'm sure used to be a beautiful point of interest appeared gray and gloomy before my class and I, as we made our way above it. It was really depressing, seeing so much dead coral, all concentrated in one area. There were a few living corals, flourishing with what little amounts of organisms resided around them. As we dove to drop the weights that would outline the perimeter of our experiment, I saw up close the death before us. There were some fish swimming around the coral head, eating the algae that grew on the dead coral. Other than the small reef fish, the sparse living coral, and the algae, the rest of the coral head was dead.
Though there was a lot of death, there was a lot of reasons to be hopeful. We observed multiple, thought very small and young, healthy corals. If those small, young corals can grow steadily for the next couple years, that coral head will look very different. It will be vibrant with life and color. We can only hope that the ocean heals itself and the human race ceases to plague it's own invaluable resource.