Friday, August 3, 2007

One Month Update


As easy as ....

1. Divers tow through the water surveying the bottom to locate debris.

2. GPS waypoints and data are taken and then a diver ties off to the debris.

3. One of the many tires hauled into the boat 'Mi Familia'.

4. Transportation back to the boat ramp.

5. Storage in the locked container provided by Obras Publicas.

The project hit the water June 30th for a test mission to allow Pauco, Leon and I the opportunity to run through the protocol and test out the new equipment. The day was a relative success as all three of us were able to take a turn tow-boarding and we located three debris objects, removing two of them.

Since that first day we have accumulated 18 days on the water, working with 9 different volunteers and have removed a startling 240 tires and tire pieces! In hindsight I guess I was naively thinking there would “only” be in the ballpark of 60 tires, we surpassed that our second day in one of the “tire gardens”. The tow-progress is also progressing nicely covering roughly 95% of the towable area of the reserve already. Areas left to survey include the shallows adjacent to shore, too shallow and close to coral to work via boat, and the deep Northwestern corner of the reserve that will be worked by Scuba diving transects. The effort will continue through mid-August and volunteer opportunities are still available.

Word has spread of our work in the Reserve and on July 18th, a local paper, El Nuevo Dia ran an article on our project, (
fronting an article on the pending finalization of the RM3P Management Plan. A banner day for the reserve.

As the initial survey begins to wind down, the education and outreach part of the project will begin ramping up. Our goal is to reach out into the community, to the various Departments and Municipality of Rincon to try to get them out on the water and let them experience the reserve and the clean up and threats to coral first hand.

Special thanks to all of our volunteers who have come out and helped survey and remove debris, especially Dr. Jose. Also, thanks to all at Obras Publicas for making the container for the tires readily accessible at the marina.

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