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Egypt

Wadi El Gemal National Park

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Conservation benefit: Protection of reef around five islands

Community benefit: Installation of mooring buoy network

Date Approved: 01.2008

Ocean

This project protects ocean ecosystems, making coastal communities more economically and physically secure in the face of climate change.

The Egyptian government has designated the Red Sea coast for tourism development since the early 1980s. In 2003, Egypt’s Ministry of Environment, with the support of the Red Sea Governate, declared Wadi El Gemal Hamata WGNP as a national park. The park encompasses almost 494,100 acres. It has been nominated as a Biosphere Reserve, which will raise its potential for ecotourism and related job opportunities. Coral reefs in the area are among the most diverse (240 species) in the Egyptian Red Sea. They are home to about 1,000 species of fish and marine invertebrates.

The Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Organization (HEPCA) was founded in 1992. Their initial mooring project has evolved into the largest mooring network in the world, with over 1,000 moorings protecting reefs and wrecks. Working with HEPCA, Seacology will fund the installation of 25 mooring buoys in dive sites around five islands in the national park.

Project Updates

July 2009

The main component of mooring installation was completed in November 2008. All of the nominated sites were covered. Some members of the Seacology expedition to the Red Sea actually took a role in the physical installation of mooring buoys. The educational seminars were held in January 2009 and were extremely successful.

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January 2009

In June 2008, all documentation was completed and the project began. As of September 2008 materials were purchased and diving teams began assessments to determine the best locations for the buoys. Installation was scheduled to start in late September. Also in September, project leaders began working on the artwork for printing environmental educational materials as well as plans for conducting educational seminars for dive skippers once the busy seasons of October/November are over. A site visit to the project occurred in November 2008 by Seacology’s Red Sea Expedition group

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