Kosrae's reef, one of the most pristine hard coral reefs in the world, is protected by close to 70 mooring buoys.
The original installation of the buoys was a joint community project. Realizing that island life is dependent on the reef, the community (dive operators, local fishermen, resource managers, and other individuals) created the Mooring Buoy Project Team in 1995.
The original project took 2 years to complete and was successful because of the active participation and support of many private and state organizations as well private individuals that donated materials and many hundreds of hours of labor.
The buoys are suitable for small to medium size boats and may be used by anyone in the community. In addition to protecting Kosrae's pristine hard corals from destructive anchoring practices, the buoys provide navigational aids and secure anchoring sites for increased boating safety.
As the years have gone by, the mooring system has continued to evolve.
Orginally the downline was attached to the anchor with a stainless shackle, now we splice a loop at the bottom of the downline which is passed through the eye fo the pin and then passed through itself to secure the line. (if this makes you dizzy, take a look at the photos) :) We have also added a float about 15 feet (5 meters) above the pin to keep the downline from touching coral during low tide or storms.
This photo series shows drilling a new pin, cementing the pin in place, and replacing a down line and a surface buoy.