Up Reef Ball Foundation Photo Gallery » Geographical Database for photos, videos, GPS Coordinates, news, and project descriptions. » Cayman Island Reef Ball Projects and Photos » Cayman Marriot Reef Ball Submerged Breakwater Beach Erosion Control Project

Over the last several years, the Cayman Beach Marriott Resort has built a submerged breakwater using Reef Balls and it has built up a beautiful beach whereas before the project the beach was undercutting the seawall and the resort was beachless much of the year. When an extention was added in 2005, the Reef Ball Foundation activated our Coral Team to plant corals on the submerged breakwater as an investigation to the hardiness of corals being used frequently by guests for snorkeling and to test the concept of adding corals after some growth had already occured. At the same time, a test Reef Ball reef was created near Cemetary Reef off seven mile beach with new Reef Balls to compare results. The Reef Balls survived the category 5 hurricane that deluged the island due to an anchoring system developed by Dr. Lee Harris. The initial Reef Balls were built by Hadsphaltic, and the second extention was built by West Indian Marine. Both had deployment and anchoring supervision by Reef Innovations and Dr. Lee Harris. The Reef Ball Coral Team was sponsored by the Marriott, Red Sail Sports, The Cayman Department of Environment and the Reef Ball Foundation. In kind contributions were numerous from the local community. Monitoring in 2006 indicated that the Reef Balls were protecting the beach well, but there were some signs the reef might be too shallow and too wide during large wave events. The Department of Environment observed some "ponding and channeling." Dr. Lee Harris will use this information to fine tune computer models used to determining the proper crest width and height for future projects. The Marriott might also need some adjustments which would entail the simple repositioning of some units to create more porousity during storms.

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