14 mooring buoys, rigged with new rope, are on the dock at Amigos del Mar dive shop. The buoys, which were fastened to anchors, were placed by Amigos divers to provide coral-safe anchorage for dive boats and fishing boats. During the past two years 36 buoys have been placed along the reef from Hol Chan to Mexico Rocks.
The "Adopt a Buoy" programme was introduced by the dive shop to help with the expense of purchasing the buoys and anchors. Several local businesses and the town board have contributed toward this project. Each buoy and anchor and the assembly cost about $150.00 US. The rope, 125 feet for each buoy is $3.45 a foot or $431.25 BZ. Amigos del Mar has donated their time, air tanks and equipment to install the buoys.
Changa Paz, owner of Amigos said he needs to get some advice about how to install buoys for heavy and larger boats. Larger boats (more than 30 feet) break the buoy ropes. Paz says that the use of cables, instead of rope, is hazardous to the reef as the cables flail around in calm as well as in rough seas and damage the corals. Some corals only experience ¼ inch of growth per year. It is difficult for coral to recover from destructive forces such as hurricanes and boat anchors.Celebrate the "Year of the Reef" and "Adopt a Buoy", donations can be sent to Amigos de Mar dive shop. A $65.00US donation will purchase a buoy with your name on it, $250.00 will purchase the entire anchoring system, and any contributions to purchase rope are more than welcome.