White House (Coral Gardens) Reef Snorkel Trail Restoration Completed


21 December 2011, Providenciales, TCI – On this past Sunday, 18 December 2011, the Turks & Caicos Reef Fund (TCRF) and a group of volunteers completed the restoration of the White House Reef Snorkel Trail located in front of the Coral Gardens Resort. The work involved scuba divers working underwater all day to remove and replace the existing trail markers and volunteers on the beach who worked hard to clean the accumulated deposits of calcium carbonate and algae on each of the snorkel trail markers.

The snorkel trail, which was installed by a group of local residents and the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources over 10 years ago, had not been properly maintained, so most of the trail markers were virtually illegible. The trail markers consist of a ceramic tile made by local artists on Providenciales mounted to a reef ball anchored to the sea floor. Each marker describes an important fact about coral reefs and how to protect them.

“The White House Reef (Coral Gardens) Snorkel Trail is probably one of the most frequently visited sights on this island visited by tourists coming here,” said David Stone, Deputy Chairman of the TCRF. “We are very pleased with the outcome of the work completed today. The trail markers all look like they did when they were first placed around this gorgeous inshore reef.”

During the work that lasted all day on Sunday, the TCRF also signed up members and explained to passing tourists what the organization had in the works for additional projects. Somewhere Café and Lounge assisted the effort and helped to promote the project. They hosted a barbecue and had life music to help attract tourists to the event.

“We want to extend a big thank you to all the staff at Somewhere Café and Lounge,” said Don Stark, Chairman of the TCRF. “Without their help with logistics and with promotion we couldn’t have completed this work as quickly and as easily as we did. We also want to thank Provo Turtle Divers who graciously supplied our scuba divers with the scuba tanks needed to complete the work.”

In addition to completing the snorkel trail restoration, the TCRF raised over $1,000 through generous donations from people who stopped by to learn more about the work going on that day and about the TCRF.

About TCRF Founded in 2010, the Turks & Caicos Reef Fund is an all volunteer-run organization that provides funding for education, research and conservation programs to individuals, organizations and agencies that help to preserve and protect the marine environment of the Turks & Caicos Islands. Our goal is to have at least 85% of all funds raised through voluntary contributions from divers and snorkelers visiting the Turks & Caicos Islands are directed to the Fund’s programs. More information about TCRF can be found at www.tcreef.org.