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St. Lucie County Creates New Artificial Reefs

St. Lucie County Creates New Artificial Reefs

 

ST. LUCIE COUNTY – St. Lucie County, with help from McCulley Marine Services, recently deployed 449 tons of concrete creating new artificial reefs to provide fish habitat and additional recreational opportunities for anglers and divers.

These new reefs, consisting of poles, culverts, boulders, four bridge catwalk sections, and two Reef Darts, are located roughly 11 nautical miles southeast of the Fort Piece Inlet at a bearing of 112 degrees.  The reefs are in 90 feet of water near the Amazone reefs.

Coordinates of the deployed materials are:

•       First Reef Dart - 27°23.7379' North, 080°03.6868' West

•       Second Reef Dart – 27°23.6990' North, 080°03.6640' West

•       Other concrete materials 27°23.727' North, 080°03.6734' West

Because of the weight of the catwalks, a crane and special cantilevered platform were used to deploy these reefs. The Reef Darts are 35-foot-tall poles mounted on a concrete platform that were donated by the West Palm Beach Fishing Club and were also deployed at depths of 90 feet north of the current Amazone reefs. At these depths, the concrete reef will provide habitat for such species as black seabass, amberjack, several snapper and grouper species, and triggerfish.

The St. Lucie County Artificial Reef Program is now focusing its attention on cleaning and sinking a 90-foot tugboat, planned for a deployment at depths of greater than 150 feet near the Tug Lesley Lee Reef, which is located about 15 miles offshore from the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant.

Since its reinstatement in 2005, St. Lucie County's Artificial Reef Program has spared more than 26,000 tons of clean concrete and steel from the landfill, while at the same time creating more than 50 underwater habitats for fishermen and divers to enjoy. Reports from divers indicate that these reefs are providing habitats for more than 100 species of fish, including adult snapper and grouper, snook, sharks and other fish, as well as baitfish and juvenile fish.

For more information about St. Lucie County's artificial reef program visit: www.stlucieco.gov/artificialreefs or contact St. Lucie County Coastal Resources Coordinator Jim Oppenborn at 772-462-1713 or oppenbornj@stlucieco.org.  

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