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St. Lucie County Acquires Ship for Future Artificial Reef

St. Lucie County Acquires Ship for Future Artificial Reef

FORT PIERCE – The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency has donated the 180-foot motor vessel Voici Bernadette to St. Lucie County’s artificial reef program.  The St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners recently approved the acceptance of the vessel unanimously.

Towing, extensive cleaning, and deployment will be completed by the county’s artificial reef contractor, McCulley Marine Services, Inc., this summer.  The 501(c)3, MMPS Environmental, Inc. has already started raising funds for deploying this ship and will organize further events throughout the summer.

The freighter will be towed to Fort Pierce in the coming days to be cleaned and deployed according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Best Management Practices and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Artificial Reef Plan guidelines. Deployment will occur on the county’s permitted Fort Pierce Sportfishing Club artificial reef site and will help increase recreational opportunities as well as provide essential fish habitat in the region.

For more information about the St. Lucie County artificial reef program, volunteering or donating to help improve St. Lucie County’s coastal resources, or for more information on the M/V Voici Bernadette contact St. Lucie County Coastal Resources Supervisor Jim Oppenborn at 772-462-1713 or oppenbornj@stlucieco.org.

For a detailed list of the county’s artificial reefs including GPS coordinates for fishing and diving, as well as videos of past projects visit: www.stlucieco.gov/reefs.

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