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Buoy System Invented in the Florida Keys Helps Protect Reefs Everywhere

37 pages9 minutes


The Mooring Buoy System started with an idea, was implemented on a small scale, and grew to become a world dominating practice. John Halas told me that as an employee of the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary in 1981, the light bulb went off, and he thought through his idea, presented it to the powers that be, and got permission to set 6 experimental mooring buoys on French Reef using Harold Hudson’s core sampling technique. Those first 6 mooring buoys, with years of maintenance, are still on French Reef today. Today in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, we have nearly 800 mooring and special use buoys. The number worldwide is over 4,000. In a modern era where most of the world’s reefs are in trouble, the implications for reef conservation from the mooring buoy system are incalculable.

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