Mooring Buoys installed to protect northern reef
Saturday, November 15th, 2014
White Sands Dive Shop along with the San Pedro Tour Guide Association (SPTGA) have taken the initiative to protect the northern reef systems by installing mooring buoys to identify coral patches. Installation of the buoys started on Tuesday, November 11th and will cover five areas. The aim of the initiative is to promote the healthy use of the Meso-American coral reef and encourage boats not to drop anchor carelessly.
Spearheading the project is owner of White Sands Dive Shop, Elbert Greer. According to Greer, while the northern reef systems are more pristine, steps need to be taken to ensure that they remain this way for years to come. “Divers like to go to less visited sites. Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley are over-visited sites, but the more north you go the more untouched the waters, marine life and the coral formations are. We are installing the buoys so that visiting boats to the area can be aware not to drop anchor as it can be very damaging to the coral formations,” said Greer.
This project was a community effort: The buoys utilized were donated by Carla Velasquez, who collected them from the beach as wash-ups. SPTGA donated the rope, while Juan Carlos Montejo installed them at no cost. The sites were identified by Gilberto “Gil” Nuñez. The five sites where the buoys will be placed are Mexico Rocks, Blue Reef, Legacy, Canary Sponge and Sapphire Beach.
Tour operators are reminded to be careful when operating near the reef, as the systems can be easily damaged.
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