Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Centro de Investigaciones Marinas—Universidad de La Habana (CIM-UH) have discovered that offshore coral reefs that are also protected tend to be healthier than nearshore ones.
In the study, seawater from 25 reefs in Cuba and the Florida Keys in the US were tested for nutrients and other parameters that would give researchers a glimpse into the microbial community present.
The law in the US still prohibits tourist travel to Cuba, but a dozen other categories of travel are permitted, including family visits, official business, journalist visits, professional meetings and educational and religious activities. The Obama administration has eased rules to the point where travelers are now free to design their own “people-to-people” cultural exchanges with little oversight.
As the wheels touched down at Havana’s International airport, the plane erupted with cheers and applause. Many of the passengers on board had waited years, if not decades, to return home and visit relatives in Cuba. As part of a small group of Americans visiting for the first time, I knew immediately that we were in for a special treat.