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  • Writer's pictureSarah Taylor

An unplanned visit to discover reef balls

Unplanned adventures are often greatly rewarding and this one surely was.

As a Barbadian who has lived all 43 years of her life living in the 166 square miles of these Barbadian shores and the waters that lap them I am still having adventures and discovering new things.

Today’s adventure was an unplanned one.

I entered the sea in front of my home and allowed the gentle currents to take me along over the shallow waters and above the reef. As I went along I saw a variety of sea life until I came upon an area with reef balls.

Reef Balls are artificial reef structures designed to create new or enhance existing reef habitats. They consist of a long-lasting marine concrete mix which allows for growth of benthic biota such as corals and a suitable habitat for fish.

On doing a little research I learnt that the reef balls were placed by the Barbados Marine Trust in 2004 deployed 30 Reef Balls off the South Coast of Barbados in a sandy channel located between two patch reefs.

They were so beautiful and the area was filled with fish, so many swimming within the balls themselves. LOL at one point I looked in one and I saw two big eyes looking back at me. For a quick moment I jumped, lurching back slightly in fright, but as I did when I was a child watching Hulk (who I was terrified of) I found some courage and looked again and to my delight it was nothing more than a vary large puffer fish 😊

I have also learn that these balls are sometimes called Eternal Reefs.

An Eternal Reef is part of a designed reef system created from individual reef balls made of environmentally safe, marine grade concrete that quickly assimilate into the natural ocean environment. These permanent memorials placed on the ocean floor create new marine habitats for fish and other forms of sea life.

Eternal Reefs takes the cremated remains or “cremains” of an individual and incorporates them into a proprietary, environmentally safe cement mixture designed to create artificial reef formations. As of 2020, more than 2,000 Eternal Reefs have been placed in about 25 locations off the coasts of Florida (the panhandle, Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast), Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. I think its kind of wonderful and I think that it suits this adventurer to a T.

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