|The Sand Dollar Reef Ball
What Are Reef
When Can You See
A Grassroots Project To Be Proud
Thank You To STINAPA And The Marine
How Do I Help?
Dollar Condominium owners, hotel staff, dive staff and marine
enthusiasts on the island of Bonaire have joined forces with the
Bonaire Marine Park to institute a pilot program dedicated to the
production of artificial reefs.
claim to one of the most healthy fringing reef systems in the
it lost some of the hard coral formations that thrived along its
shallow terraces in a rare storm surge six years ago. To help speed
up the regeneration of this coral, Sand Dollar is now building
and will shortly place a total of twenty, 600 lb. reef balls as part
of a pilot project with the Bonaire National Marine Park. Most of
these reef balls will be placed directly in front of the Sand Dollar
adjacent to Bari Reef. The remaining reef balls will be placed
in front of Boca Slagbaai in the the Washington Slagbaai National
The reef balls being built at Sand Dollar are
actually "bay balls" according to the manufacturer.
Approximately three-foot high structures, which resemble upside
down tea cups, these structures are made of a special concrete
mixture whose Ph levels are closer to that of the ocean than normal
concrete, thereby stimulating early marine assimilation and
growth. These reef
balls contain anywhere from eight to thirteen holes, making
each one unique and, more importantly, attractive to
diverse marine life.
The surface of each reef ball has also been designed and
prepared to encourage the adhesion of new coral polyps.
Dollar will be placing these reef balls directly in front of the
resort in 10 feet of water in late January and early February.
These balls will provide an immediate habitat for many different
species of marine life and will be easily accessible to snorkelers
and scuba divers alike! Every reef ball will be
identified with a number stamped on a brass tag affixed to each
ball. As part of the project, snorkelers and divers alike will
also be able to log the different marine species they find on each
ball in books that will be kept at Bonaire Dive &
Adventure, the Sand Dollar dive shop. Local naturalists Dee Scarr
(Touch the Sea) and Jerry Ligon (Bonaire Dive & Adventure) have
also volunteered to help monitor the project.
start, this has been a grassroots project that got off the ground
thanks to the dedication and hard work of many individuals who
believed they could make a difference in the already spectacular
marine environement known as Bonaire! To cover the cost of
this project, visiting scuba divers and owners at Sand Dollar
sponsoring individual reef balls for $300. These
sponsors will be identified on plaques mounted in the Sand
This pilot project is also being conducted with
the full support of STINAPA and the
A total of 5 reef balls will be placed in the Washington Slagbaai
National Park and can be sponsored at $200 a ball. These
proceeds will be donated directly to the Marine
Park. Special recognition must be given to Ramon de
Leon with the Bonaire National Marine Park, and Elsemarie Beukenboom
who is the director of STINAPA. Their support for this pilot
project is greatly appreciated.
who are interested in aiding the project can buy a reef ball t-shirt
at the Sand Dollar office or sponsor a reef ball by contacting
Jorgen Weterrings at email@example.com. You
can also learn more about reefballs at http://www.reefball.org/.