August 4th, 2011 – Rebuilding the Island for Project Aware

 

August 4th, 2011 – Rebuilding the Island for Project Aware

Recent heavy rains and storms have played havoc on Koh Tao’s steep hillsides. Poor construction has lead to some deep channels dug by rushing waters threatening some of the roads and business on our small island.

 

In an effort to combat the erosion of some hillsides the team from Marine Conservation Koh Tao, and other concerned individuals often get together to implement erosion control barriers to shore up hillsides and prevent more damage.

 

On a sunny afternoon as part of their Project Aware Specialty Course Pierre Ingmarsson & Julie Jamieson joined Instructor Nathan Cook, Divemaster James Wickham and a team from Marine Conservation Koh Tao to help shore up the hillside on the road to Tanote Bay. The road is half hanging free after the water undercut the cement slab leaving it free hanging and dangerous.

 

It was hot work in the blazing sun but very productive with about 15 people on hand for the bard labour. Erosion control logs (coconut husks wrapped in netting) were placed in channels to stop sediment. The logs also promote the growth of plants which help secure the soil and stop the hillsides being washed away.

 

Erosion and runoff are a big threat to coral reefs. Erosion carries sediment into the sea where it can smother corals and block out the essential sunlight they need to grow. Runoff can bring nutrients which can help the growth of macro algae which out competes the coral for space and also prevents the sunlight from getting through.

 

Hopefully as the erosion logs develop and the trees grow they’ll prevent further erosion and protect our fragile island from washing into the sea.

 

In the afternoon Pierre and Julie returned to the classroom with Instructor Nathan Cook to complete the Project Aware presentation and discuss what we can do to continue to protect coral reefs.

 

Thank you to everyone who helped make a difference – Pierre Ingmarsson, Julie Jamieson, James Wickham, Kailash Cook.

 

Project Aware www.projectaware.org

Marine Conservation Koh Tao www.marineconservationkohtao.com

Save Koh Tao www.savekohtao.com

Crystal Dive www.crystaldive.com