May 1, 2012 | 3:47 pm | Print
Above: one of the reef units (Photo: GIS)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Montserrat is into its second phase on a project building artificial reefs.
The Montserrat Reef Project, which was initiated by Scuba Montserrat’s Andrew Myers and Emmy Aston, aims to strengthen the island’s marine ecosystem.
“Though Montserrat is blessed with good natural reefs, volcanic activity has not only affected the land but also the sea as well, making some reefs inaccessible,” Myers said. “The artificial reef we have built is an ideal habitat for both a fish nursery and coral growth. It strengthens the marine ecosystem by increasing the fish and marine life populations and stimulating oral growth.”
The reef is comprised of approximately 150 reef units consisting of casted concrete structures ranging from 1.5 feet tall to 5.5 feet tall and from 50 pounds to 6,000 pounds.
The project’s second phase aims to continue strengthening the ecosystem and overcoming the stresses placed on it.
It is being funded by the Overseas Territories Environmental Programme grant, with plans for the eventual introduction of tourist programmes giving visitors the chance to get involved in the project.