Wed, Jul 05, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Undersea mailbox opens for business off Penghu County

By Liu Yu-ching and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A woman on Monday posts a letter at the nation’s first underwater mailbox off the coast of Penghu County’s Magong Township.

Photo: Liu Yu-ching, Taipei Times

Taiwan’s first underwater mailbox opened for business on Monday off Penghu County, with county officials saying they hope the facility would not only attract visitors, but also stimulate the growth of new coral.

The mailbox is in waters off Magong Township’s Suogang (鎖港) area, a natural bay that is home to a thriving scuba diving and snorkeling business, the Penghu County Government said.

The county is to provide 2,000 waterproof postcards for people to mail, it said, adding that county divers would retrieve the cards and drop them off at a post office on land.

The mailbox was designed with artificial reefs in mind, and its large concrete base provides a perfect environment for giant clams and coral to grow, the county said.

The first batch of coral and young clams — reared by the Marine Life Propagation Station — were deposited near the mailbox on Monday.

Made of stainless steel and decorated with mosaic-style paintings of coral, the top half of the mailbox is designed to be removable to make maintenance easier, officials said.

Penghu County Commissioner Chen Kuang-fu (陳光復) headed a beach cleanup event to promote the mailbox and marine conservation.

“We hope that the mailbox serves three functions — as a working mailbox, to stimulate tourism and the local economy and to spread the idea that we all bear responsibility for protecting marine ecology,” Chen said at the event.

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