Thanks to a $2,000 donation from Ransom Everglades School’s Marine Awareness Club, the Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) has installed two additional mooring buoys at the “Half Moon Marine Archeological Preserve,” located just offshore of northern Key Biscayne.
With the help from a matching grant, the students from Ransom Everglades School raised enough money to sponsor the installation of the buoys at this popular and historic archeological site. The Half Moon Preserve is the location of a sunken 154-foot long racing sailboat built in Germany in 1908.
To commemorate this accomplishment, DERM and Ransom Everglades School scheduled a visit to the reef site.
DERM has installed and maintains 24 mooring buoys, including these two new ones, near seven natural and artificial reef sites throughout the county as part of its one-year-old Adopt-a-Buoy Program.
The main purpose of the program is to protect Miami-Dade County’s coral reefs from damage caused by boat anchors. The buoys allow boaters, divers, and fisherman to tie their vessels to a flotation device instead of dropping their anchors onto the fragile coral reefs.
Future expansion of this program will include installation of another 13 buoys, which will be funded through grants and donations or sponsorships from private or public agencies.
The two mooring buoys installed at the Half Moon Preserve will help to protect this historic reef site, which rests in only 10 feet of water and offers a lush underwater ecosystem filled with marine life.
Accessible to snorkelers, this century old vessel became Florida’s seventh Underwater Archaeological Preserve in November 2000, and in 2001 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site is visited annually by hundreds of divers and snorkelers from Florida, the United States, and abroad.
After a long history, including being seized as a prize of war by British officials towards the beginning of World War I, this German yacht sank and came to rest on a shallow, sandy shoal between Key Biscayne and Virginia Key during a severe storm in 1930.
For more information about DERM’s Mooring Buoy Program, visit online at www.miamidade.gov/buoy.asp or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.