Lions Club, VROMI Assist Nature Foundation in Placing Moorings in Man of War Shoal Marine Park

Caption: Chief marine Park Ranger Etienne Lake placing the one-ton block at the Proselyte Dive Site

The Lions Club and the ROB Department of the Ministry VROMI recently assisted the St. Maarten Nature Foundation in placing five one-ton concrete and steel blocks as mooring placements within the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area


Previously the Nature Foundation used specially placed underwater pins to attach mooring lines to, but these pins suffered extensive damage due to the often rough conditions within the Marine Park. The St. Maarten Lions Club was able to donate the five one-ton blocks for use as moorings to the Nature Foundation with VROMI/ ROB offering logistical support. The Nature Foundation and commercial dive and salvage company Aquatic Solutions proceeded to place the blocks to use as moorings at various locations within the Marine Park, including the Coralita Dive Site, which has not been operational for quite some time.

Because the Marine Park is an important aspect of St. Maarten’s tourism product due to the significant amount of dive tourists that visit there, moorings are installed so that dive boats can tie unto them instead of illegally dropping their anchors, which damages the fragile coral ecosystem.

The Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area includes the island’s most ecologically and economical important marine habitat, including extensive coral reef areas and seagrass beds and has a high intrinsic ecological, economic and cultural value. The Man of War Shoal Marine Park is a home and migratory stop over or breeding site for 3 IUCN Red List Species, 10 CITES Appendix I species and 89 Appendix II species. It is an area with a relatively healthy population of marine mammals including migratory whales and dolphins, numerous species of shark, sea turtles and numerous fish species. Studies conducted by the St. Maarten Nature Foundation have shown that biodiversity in this area, particularly coral reef density, is high and the economic goods and services which the ecosystem provides are in excess of fifty million dollars annually.