Catching up after more than 10 months would take too long so we’re going to start with our Reef Restoration blog and update today. Thankfully we’ve had hundreds of volunteers and Reef Restoration students visit us during these difficult times. A huge thanks to each and every one of you for your efforts and time spent with us.
Dr. German Mendez and our team at Sand Dollar Sports take great pride in our efforts and results over more than 2 decades of programs and projects that have been installed and maintained here in front of our aquatics facility. Over the last 10 months, we’ve seen a very noticeable increase in growth with the established coral colonies and even more new growth on many of our coral platforms. We’re pretty sure why we’ve seen such positive results. The cruise ship industry and all the tourists that visit us (3.8 million per year) are the obvious targets. As the ships no longer call to Cozumel the amount of prop wash and sunblock entering our nutrient-rich water has given the environment a pause and more specifically our reef systems and fauna a chance to get back to “normal”. It’s been amazing to analyze the difference with our time-lapse images. As Cozumel relies on tourism it’s a double edge sword for us. We’re taking the time now during our “pause” to reassess our programs and make sure we are making changes to our experiences assuring the least amount of impact to Coral Reefs and Fauna.
We look forward to seeing our friends and volunteers join us back here in Cozumel but be assured there will be some differences in operations and safety procedures.
We want to give a round of applause to our most recent student/volunteers that have joined us over the last week Luise, a native of the UK but visiting us from the U.S., has completed the Reef Restoration course and is going to stay a few more days volunteering. Robin completed the course with us last year and has come back to help with coral platform maintenance and cleaning. Thank you both for your time and energy.
We’ll plan on making this a regular report so that everyone can follow along and monitor our advances and participation. Many pictures to follow!!