project at Maho
SIMPSON BAY--In an effort to replenish the Maho
Bay beach in a sustained manner, a pilot beach
replenishment project involving the placement of
'Goliath' (large) reef balls a short distance off
shore has been undertaken with financing via the
Dutch Recovery Fund. Target completion time is by
the beginning of the tourism season in December.
For this pilot project, being coordinated by the
Nature Foundation St. Maarten, approximately 15 reef
ball will be made. Four reefs have already been
made, Foundation Marine Park Manager Andy Caballero
told The Daily Herald.
Maho Beach Resort and Casino has also showed
interest in the project and may be providing some
additional funding to increase the number of reef
balls soon, Caballero said.
"With this pilot project, we are hoping for some
beach replenishment. If this is successful, there
may be an expansion later," he said. The reef balls
will have a dual purpose; they will act as a
breakwater. thus cutting down the rate of beach
erosion and in a few years as a diving attraction.
Coral will be transplanted into the reef balls
stimulating the growth of a man made reef in the
Prior to the start of the project, a study was
carried out by Dr. Lee Harris about the possibility
of successfully replenishing the Maho Beach. Via
this study, it was decided to move ahead with the
project. Dr. Harris is on the island assisting the
exercise along with Robbie Duke of Reef Ball
Development Group Limited.
Reef balls were used to create a manmade reef in
Great Bay last year by the Nature Foundation also
with funding via the Dutch Recovery Fund, which is
administered by a committee overseen by the St.
Maarten Tourist Bureau. Finishing touches are being
made to this project.