Action CS 3 Develop and test programs to restore coral communities and species that depend on the reefs

Bateaux à l’ancre à l’îlet Pinel – Boats anchored in Pinel
Bateaux à l’ancre à l’îlet Pinel – Boats anchored in Pinel

Ecological Moorings To Protect Coral Reefs

During the summer of 2022, the scientific department of the Réserve worked hand-in-hand with Fleur Wintzer to refine a project under consideration by the French Office of Biodiversity (OFB), whose goal would be to reinforce the number of ecological moorings—at Rocher Créole, Tintamarre, Pinel, and Caye Verte— and the maritime buoys of the Réserve. This project was previously submitted to the OFB by the Réserve, in response to the call for de ReCorEA projects for the rehabilitation of coral reefs and their associated eco-systems. It was submitted a second time to the ReCorEA jury in a more detailed version: preparatory diagnostics on zones frequented by boats, definition of a deployment strategy for mooring zones with lighted buoys, and awareness activities for a better acceptance of this program by boaters. This fits perfectly with the approach initiated by the Port Authority of Saint Martin, for the placing of lighted buoys in the bays of Marigot and Grand-Case. On September 8, Julien Chalifour defended this project, which had been validated by the management council presided by the prefect, via video conference before the ReCorEA jury. The jury, which once again has the support of its members, only asked a few questions and requested just for one small modification before granting their acceptance.

As part of the definition of the strategy to reinforce the mooring options for recreational and professional boaters, preliminary studies are planned to support the discussion. The first consists of updating the cartography for the under-water and terrestrial habitats in the Réserve, integrating zones close to the Réserve in Grand-Case, Anse Marcel, Cul-de-Sac, and Orient Bay. Also planned is an analysis of the flow of boats in and out of these zones, a study of turbid water plumes (containing troublesome particles that can be provoked by ravines, pollution, or sargassum…), as well as an observation of the eventual evolution of the coastline, due to erosion of the littoral. All of this information will help better define the propositions of the project, with demarcation, regulations, and equipment adapted to the needs of the boats, such as a sufficient number of buoys to meet the needs of boats of different sizes.

All articles from: Newsletter-41

To promote the conservation of the coral reefs and related species

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