Ranger Attempts to Preserve America’s Underwater Park

Published on : Monday, July 4, 2016

Dry Tortugas National ParkA major portion of Dry Tortugas National Park of North America is underwater, comprising seven islands and 100 sq miles of ocean, based about 70 miles to the western part of Key West, Gulf of Mexico. This amazing park provides refuge to sea turtles, nurse sharks and snapper grouper fishes who utilize this area for spawning, apart from housing the world’s third largest barrier reef. But, the greatest challenge confronted by rangers is: how to preserve a nature park that lies underwater and is hence exposed to predator and climatic alterations.


Nick Fuechsel, an interpretive ranger at this park since the last three years establishes buoys to indicate research areas and uses floating mooring as anchoring facilities for boats. During 2007, half of Tortugas National Park was demarcated as a research area with a view to protect its natural resources.


Nick maintains enclosed areas in this park to enable scientists observe the population, behavior and mating habits of the nurse sharks that reside in Dry Tortugas National Park. Alongside this, Fuechsel also keep visitors abreast of the research that is conducted inside the park, encouraging them to diminish the human impact.


The islands of this national park also witness plenty of birds like brown noddy tern, sooty tem, frigatebird, city terns and masked boobies. Satellite tracking is being utilized by researchers to take note of where the birds go after leaving the park.


Fuechsel stated that rangers would be capable of protecting the various wildlife species in the park once they are aware of their mating, foraging and lifestyle habits. One can reach the Dry Tortugas Park with the aid of a seaplane or boats. Satellite phones are offered to the rangers along with internet access that help them to remain in touch with the mainland.


Nick Fuechsel is now used to spending his time in the remote Dry Tortugas National Park, supervising the research activities here and looking after the aquatic life that is a part of this park. He says that he is lucky to reside in one of the most beautiful places in his country and preserve it.

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