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Cofrin Center for Biodiversity

Snorkeling in Bocas del Toro

The past two days we have been snorkeling in the Caribbean. The water is very warm and clear, and the ocean floor is covered with colorful corals, grasses, shells and wildlife. We have noted that most of the developed reefs occur near structured areas, such as the docks or other concrete structures. So far we have seen dozens of corals, including fire coral and brain coral. We have also seen fish, such as barracudas, gars, puffer fish, anchovies, parrot fish and other small colorful varieties. We have been using an underwater camera to document many of these places. Another interesting aspect to snorkeling is to see the difference between mangrove and open ocean developments. The open ocean tends to have a large amount of sea grass beds and shorter wider varieties of plant life.  The mangroves have a lot less sunlight reaching the ocean floor, therefore the plants extend a lot higher and are much skinner. Those plants also tend to wind around the aerial roots of the trees. I hope to post photos at a later date.