Turks and Caicos Weekly News writes that the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund (TCRF) with a great deal of assistance from a group of volunteers, has replaced the badly damaged, decades-old boundary buoy line around the snorkel reef in front of Coral Gardens resort in Providenciales.
The ring of buoys is intended to help keep snorkelers off the shallow reef areas in order to protect the reef from damage. But over the years, the ring of buoys has been buffeted by storms, had lines broken and repaired and was no longer protecting some sections of the reef.
Don Stark, chairman of the TCRF, in a press statement this past week, said: “This was a project we started several years ago when we worked with a team of volunteers to restore the underwater snorkel trail markers. “We knew the boundary buoy line needed replacing, so we put a plan in action to secure the funding to purchase the necessary supplies to complete the project.” The project entailed installing six new sea floor anchors to reposition the buoy ring over areas where coral growth had moved beyond the original boundaries of the boundary buoys. Then the old boundary buoy line had to be removed and hauled away while a new buoy line was prepared on the beach, Stark said.
He added that once the buoys were firmly attached to the new line, a team of divers, snorkelers and shore hands slowly fed the line out so it could be attached to the sea floor anchors. “We invested approximately $20,000 into this effort, all of which came from donations, memberships and the sale of our retail merchandise. We would like to encourage all the business and visitors who enjoy the benefits of this reef to help support this effort by becoming a member of the TCRF or making a donation to our non-profit organisation.”
Although coral looks like rock, it is actually a living being consisting of thousands of small animals living in limestone homes. Corals are very sensitive to damage from being kicked by fins, touched by human hands, as well as from natural causes such as pollution, storms, and nutrient runoff from landscaping.
The Bight Reef in front of Coral Gardens Resort is one of the most popular snorkelling destinations for tourists visiting Provo and, therefore, requires protection from potential visitor damage. [. . .]