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The Massive Mooring System That's Saving Egypt's Coral Reefs

The Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association has been protecting the Red Sea's coral reefs from destructive anchors by installing the largest mooring system in the world.

When you sail a yacht and need to stop somewhere, you drop an anchor, right? Everyone knows that. But what everybody might not be aware of is the damage these anchors can do to the environment. The popularity of the Red Sea's rich coral reefs can also lead to their destruction, with every drop of the anchor immediately killing whatever coral happened to be underneath it. There had to be another way - and the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) found it with the creation of the world's largest mooring system.


Mooring is another way of basically parking your ship, where you tie a rope to a stable object. A feat that would normally be difficult in the middle of the sea, where there's nothing to wrap a rope around. HEPCA got around this by installing mooring buoys all along the Red Sea. With a permanent anchor securely fixed to the seabed without risk of harming any sealife, these buoys float on the top of the water, giving sailors a stable stopping point to tie their ships to.


There are currently 1,400 of these buoys floating on the Red Sea; 1,300 of them are for public use, and the other 100 are reserved for private hotels and resorts. According to HEPCA, the destruction of the coral reefs in Egypt's corner of the Red Sea would be 70% higher without these buoys.


With Saudi Arabia and Jordan looking to further capitalise on their own seaside wonders, they've been coordinating with HEPCA to use their expertise to protect these natural treasures while opening them up to tourism.