Roatan Marine Park Infrastructure
In 2002, with funds provided by PMAIB, 30 PVC pipe dive buoys were installed within the Sandy Bay – West End Marine Reserve. Over the years however, due to lack of maintenance from insufficient funding, the buoys and moorings became worn and damaged and many were lost in storms. The final outcome was a disheveled mooring structure, with many boats having to share moorings, resulting in overcrowding at dive sites and further damage to the lines.
In 2005, at the time of the Roatan Marine Park’s conception, there were approximately 25 functional dive moorings and one adequately marked channel within the boundaries of the Marine Reserve. The growing popularity of Roatan as an international dive destination resulted in an ever increasing number of dive shops, boats, and visitors. It became a daily occurrence to have several boats tied to the same mooring, resulting in eventual damage to the groundings and lines. It was apparent that the marine infrastructure was insufficient to handle the increasing volume of divers. An added nail in the coffin was the increasing number of cruise ships bringing divers, inundating the already heavily used moorings.
In November 2006, the Marine Park, with funding from CORAL, began an extensive revamp of the marine infrastructure. The main focus was the installation of new dive moorings and channel markers and the maintenance of existing moorings. With the awarded $10,000, the RMP worked on replacing the remaining PVC pipe buoys and all other buoys with heavy duty 14” trawl buoys, along with replacing all the chain used as grounding tackle for polypropylene rope. BY January 2007, the Reserve had almost 45 fully functioning moorings and 4 main channels demarcated.
After three years of management, and with grants from USAID, PMAIB and CORAL, there are now approximately 60 dive moorings, 12 yacht moorings, 2 fishing moorings and six main channels marked. The dive moorings stretch from Flowers Bay to the Odyssey
In addition to working within the Reserve, the RMP has assisted in developing the marine infrastructure on Roatan’s southern shores. Through two grants from PADI Project AWARE, we have installed 10 yacht moorings in the French Cay area, installed 18 channel markers between Brick Bay and Oak Ridge, and finally 10 fishing moorings around the Cordelia Banks.
While installing moorings is the initial part of marine infrastructure, continuous maintenance is required so as to provide our users with a sufficient number of functional moorings. To enable us to ensure all the moorings both within and outside of the Reserve are in good condition, we ask the public to use our “Mooring Report Form” to inform us of any damaged or missing moorings.