UA Researcher Studies Cuba's Coastal Forests in Anticipation of Tourism Increase

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 04:00 in Earth & Climate

Dr. Michael Steinberg, a University of Alabama associate professor in New College and geography, is conducting a study of the coastal mangrove forests in Cuba's Zapata Peninsula and the Jardines de la Reina Garden of the Queen Marine Reserve national parks. The study is using satellite maps of the park's coastal mangrove forests from the past 20 years to examine the forests growth or decline during that time frame. The mangrove forests of Cuba are important because they provide natural habitat for many species of aquatic fish, crabs and shrimp. They also serve as homes for migratory birds and stabilize the coast from waves, tides and tsunamis. Without them, coastal erosion would occur. The study is the first cooperate conservation mapping project between Cuba and the U.S. since the Cuban embargo.

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