Well this is definitely some great news … the Coral Bay Community Council just received $90,000 which will be used to remove old boats and other marine debris along the shores of Coral Bay harbors, in the mangroves and in the boat mooring areas. The Council is also offering in-kind services and funds, bringing the project total up to nearly $140,000.
“For decades, on an on-going basis, cleanup, removal and disposal of marine debris, and rescue of grounded vessels (two sailboats were rescued after T.S. Bertha recently), have been accomplished by boaters, the Coral Bay Yacht Club members, the Coral Bay Community Council and other community volunteers. The moorings maintainer, charter boat captains, marine services store, and shoreline restaurants all participate. However these volunteers have been frustrated by the lack of funding to remove the grounded and sunken wrecks that leave visitors with the erroneous conclusion that Coral Bay’s boaters don’t care environmentally…,” said Sharon Coldren, President of the Coral Bay Community Council. “This federal NOAA grant funding for derelict vessel removal will raise the morale of all who continuously work to keep the bay clean.”
According to the Council, the project’s main task is to remove abandoned and derelict vessels from the harbor. Currently there are about a dozen grounded boats, which can pose a threat to the environment. This project, upon completion, will allow seagrass to regrow and mangroves to put down new roots, returning the area to more pristine conditions.
Moving forward, to reduce future locally-generated marine debris, the Council plans to start a marine debris reduction and reporting program. The program will include all kinds of debris– from litter thrown into ghuts and along roads to awareness of incidental oil/fuel spills by boats and outboard engines, and reducing the number of abandoned floating boats.
Such great news and great work to everyone involved!
Speaking of Coral Bay … tonight’s the meeting on the proposed marina. It’s happening at 4:30 p.m. at the Legislature Building. And from what we heard, it sounds like it’s going to be a packed one. We’ll keep you all posted.