ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – In the silent shallows off Grenada, an Underwater Sculpture Park models the practice of sustainable tourism. The first of its kind in the world, Grenada’s Underwater Sculpture Park was designed to act as an artificial reef, offering an ideal environment for colonization by fish and colorful coral.
Recognized as one of the “Wonders of the World – Earth’s Most Awesome Places” in a special edition of National Geographic, the park is located just outside St. George’s in the Molinere Bay Marine Protected Area. Created by British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, the park has become one of the main tourist attractions for Grenada. The statues are accessible to both divers and snorkelers.
Sculpture Attracts Marine Life
“As artificial reefs, the 105 sculptures are proving to be highly successful in attracting a stunning array of varied marine life and are easing the environmental pressure of other reefs in the area,” commented Howard Clarke, Chairman of Grenada Underwater Sculpture Management, Inc (GUSMI). “Creating artificial reefs is not uncommon, but using Taylor’s pieces of artwork is a unique way of helping out nature. It has opened up a new world of possibility for the diving and snorkeling industry,” concluded Clarke.
Helping to Repair Storm Damage
Molinere Bay was originally damaged by a storm surge, and the sculptures have been designed to assist in the regeneration of the area by providing new surfaces for coral to grow and provide a habitat for marine animals to live. Many of the statues have a large amount of prolific coral life growing on them and are attracting diverse species of reef fish, turtles, and more.
Circle of Children
The latest addition to the park is a new 28-piece sculpture called “Vicissitudes” that was unveiled below the water’s surface in late November 2012. Better known locally as the “Circle of Children,” the new artwork replaced the original Vicissitudes, a collection of figures from diverse ethnic backgrounds holding hands that were damaged by a storm surge. Vicissitudes, which means “a natural change or mutation visible in nature or in human affairs,” is one of the largest projects launched in the development of the park. Over time, the new statues will become part of the underwater marine environment and coral, soft sponges, and filter-feeding marine life will soon start to inhabit them.
Locally operated boats offering snorkeling and/or diving tours run regular trips to Grenada’s Underwater Sculpture Park. For more information,visit http://grenadaunderwatersculpture.com/ .
Come Down and Check It Out
Getting to Grenada is easy, with various airlines offering service from North America. American Airlines offers 4 non-stop flights from Miami to Grenada on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Caribbean Airlines operates non-stop service from New York JFK on Wednesdays and Saturdays. From Canada, Caribbean Airlines operates a twice weekly non-stop service from Toronto on Thursdays and Sundays. Delta Airlines operates seasonal service from New York JFK on Saturdays, from July 6, 2013 through August 31, 2013. Air Canada also has year-round daily flights from Toronto to Barbados on Saturdays and Sundays with connections on LIAT to Grenada. In addition, West Jet operates a non-stop flight from Toronto to Barbados with connections on LIAT year round. Schedules vary seasonally.
Spice of the Caribbean
Recognized as the “Spice of the Caribbean,” Grenada boasts some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches, delectable cuisine and spices, a tropical rainforest, and a wide range of fun-filled activities such as diving, snorkeling, hiking, fishing, and sailing. Romantic, natural, and authentic, all of nature’s best gifts can be found in Grenada. Grenada is a proud member of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP).
The destination was listed by National Geographic Traveler, among the “Best of the World 2013” as one of the 20 Must See Places in 2013. In March 2012, the island’s Underwater Sculpture Park was recognized as one of the “Wonders of the World – Earth’s Most Awesome Places” by National Geographic. It was also cited for having both the “Best Wreck Diving” and the ““Best Advanced Diving” in the Caribbean/Atlantic region by Scuba Diving magazine in the 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards. Grenada was recently recognized as one of the Top 25 Destinations in the Caribbean in the TripAdvisor’s 2012 Travelers’ Choice Awards.