|Coral Gardens snorkel trail markers restored|
|Thursday, 22 December 2011 11:15|
Tiles markers on the snorkel trail around the popular Bight Reef (White House Reef) in front of Coral Gardens have been successfully restored, thanks to volunteers and the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund.
“The White House Reef Snorkel Trail is probably one of the most frequently visited sights on this island visited by tourists coming here,” said David Stone, deputy chairman of the TCRF. “We are very pleased with the outcome of the work completed today. The trail markers all look like they did when they were first placed around this gorgeous inshore reef.”
The snorkel trail, which was installed by a group of local residents and the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources more than 10 years ago, had not been properly maintained, so most of the trail markers were virtually illegible.
The trail markers consist of a ceramic tile made by local artists on Providenciales mounted to a reef ball anchored to the sea floor. Each marker describes an important fact about coral reefs and how to protect them.
Organized by the TCRF and with the help of volunteers, scuba divers worked underwater all day Dec. 18 to remove and replace the existing trail markers. Volunteers on the beach worked hard to clean the accumulated deposits of calcium carbonate and algae on each of the snorkel trail markers.
During the work that lasted all day on Sunday, the TCRF also signed up members and explained to passing tourists what the organization had in the works for additional projects. Somewhere Café and Lounge assisted the effort and helped to promote the project. They hosted a barbecue and had life music to help attract tourists to the event.
“We want to extend a big thank you to all the staff at Somewhere Café and Lounge,” said Don Stark, chairman of the TCRF. “Without their help with logistics and with promotion, we couldn’t have completed this work as quickly and as easily as we did. We also want to thank Provo Turtle Divers who graciously supplied our scuba divers with the scuba tanks needed to complete the work.”
In addition to completing the snorkel trail restoration, the TCRF raised more than $1,000 through generous donations from people who stopped by to learn more about the work going on that day and about the TCRF.
Photos: (top left) Volunteer Roger Halliday removes a trail marker from a Reef Ball.
(bottom right) Volunteer Sandy Elder worked onshore cleaning marker tiles.
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