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March 2006 Vol. 32, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Saving Reefs the Painless Way

from the March, 2006 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

When you go diving abroad, you no doubt return with a fistful of foreign currency. It now resides in your home, in a box at the bottom of a drawer. Why not save a reef with it?

If you send me those foreign bills, I will send you a receipt for your tax-deductible contribution (Undercurrent is a 501 (c) 3 organization and contributions are tax deductible). I will exchange them at our bank and then give ALL the money to one of two projects – and you may designate where you want your gift to go. Feel free to write a check if you don’t have foreign currency or to supplement the foreign bills:

Saving Reefs the Painless Way

Belize: Outfit a sailboat to stop reef poaching: In southern Belize, the 133-island Port Honduras Marine Reserve is managed by a small nongovernmental organization. There is a ranger station on Abalone Caye, near the reserve’s most sensitive area, which has led to a decrease in the illegal poaching of manatees and other marine species. Still, poaching is a serious problem, especially when rogue fishermen – some of who come north from Honduras – target these preserves under the cover of darkness.

The reserve is underfunded. The cost of fuel is making it impossible to patrol the area regularly. The park rangers’ solution is to repair and outfit their sailboat for overnight patrols where poaching is concentrated. The sail boat, so silent at night, will help them stop gill-netters from illegally fishing these breeding grounds and aid in their capture. The rangers would even overnight on the cays to nab the poachers. You can help them launch their boat

Fiji: build a school, save a reef: At the southern tip of Taveuni, Fiji, are virgin reefs and beautiful rain forest under the control of Vuna Village chiefs. Fishermen want the fish on the reefs and loggers covet the trees, and the citizens of Vuna Village need the money that will be paid by these outsiders for the rights to log and fish. But our partner Seacology has struck an agreement with the Chiefs to establish two marine protected areas totaling 3,010 acres and also protect a 4,752-acre forest preserve (silt from logging destroys reefs). The village has agreed to protect the reef and forest, in return for a much-needed schoolhouse. The project needs to be completed by June and needs additional money to guarantee it is completed on time and the reefs and forest are protected.

So, wrap up those foreign bills and send them to Undercurrent, POB 3020, and Sausalito, CA. Pick a project or let us decide which needs your tax-deductible gift. Take a moment right now and track down those foreign bills. And feel free to include a taxdeductible personal check as well. You may also donate on our website by clicking on the home page of Undercurrent.

If divers don’t save the reefs, who will? Thanks for your support.

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