Santa Marta’s Marina announces plans to build Colombia’s first underwater museum in Tayrona National Park, local newspaper El Informador reported on Monday.
Tayrona’s national part will see the installation of a collection museum “curios,” such as broken sculptures, structures, boats and even an aircraft in the dock of Santa Marta’s Sierra Nevada. The idea is to create an artificial reef to provide shelter for the many different species of flora and fauna which no longer naturally inhabit the area.
In order to clear the seabed and make room for the “exhibits,” an underwater expedition will be mounted between August 13 and 15. The operation will be undertaken by around 300 amateur and professional divers and will also feature a number of local celebrities.
The debris recovered will be recycled by a group of local artists and transformed into works of art to generate awareness about trash levels in the area and raise funds for the project. Afterwards the works will be place back underwater to be installed as museum pieces.
Another aim of the project is to call attention to the invasive presence of Lionfish in the area, which pose a serious threat to marine life in Caribbean coral reefs. Because of this, the expedition will also involve activities to aid in the capture and control of the species. Any captured specimens will be donated to a team of biologists from the University Jorge Tadeo Lozano to help further scientific research for the expedition.
Funprosperar’s director Jose Felipe Mesa, said the project had full support from a number of international organisations, including the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.
“With the creation of the underwater park we are not only made aware of coastal marine habitats but can also work to restore them,” Mesa explained.