|Friday's crew (Photo Shayne McIntrye)|
This past Friday a small group of volunteers joined myself and Paco and Carlos of Monaquatics to participate in the chapters' coral reef restoration project titled "Coral Reef Protection through Marine Debris Removal in two Marine Protected Areas (MPAs); Arrecifes de Tourmaline and Reserva Marina Tres Palmas. The goal of Friday's adventure was to remove fiberglass and wood slabs from 2 old shipwrecks off/out of Cayo Ron's beautiful back reef. The slabs and other pieces of debris were mostly previously marked and positioned during the first outing on the 27th of August. However, James Sethward and I still managed to lift-bag a few more newly discovered pieces to strategic sediment laden drop-spots where we moved our vessel and extracted the debris later that afternoon. Below is a photo of one of the 6 large slabs we removed on Friday. Those slabs, plus many other pieces of boat debris such as columns, heat exchangers, stereo speakers, etc. amounted in more than a TON (2200 lbs) of debris being removed from Cayo Ron. We arrived at this amount after the volunteers estimated the weight of each piece once on-board. Additionally, each piece was measured with a meter stick and we calculated a rough estimate of the area of reef substrate the pieces were covering to be ~21.4 square meters.
The chapter would like to thank Taino Divers for providing 6 tanks of air and Surf 787 for providing 2 soft-top surfboards and a kayak. We would also like to thank Idelfonso Ruiz for organizing DRNA to come and pick up the debris promptly upon our arrival. More thanks go out to Paco and Carlos for their hard work and I would also like to thank Shayne and Shannon McIntyre for their help with documenting the adventure. Thanks!!
|Above is a photo of the crew hoisting a large ~200 lb slab off the reef. (Photo W.Merten ( L to R); Paco, Carlos, James, Terry and Steve).|
|Once back at Monaquatics, DRNA was there to pick up the debris and truck it to a landfill. This is all the debris we removed and as you can see it completely fills the back of this large truck bed (and more!). Great work crew!|
Contact Wessley Merten at 787-436-8300 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on helping out in this coral reef restoration and marine debris removal effort.