ECO-SMART REEFS ™
Strategically Made Artificial Reef Technology
Ecologically & Economically Engineered/Designed Total Reef Systems
The BIG BEND COASTAL CONSERVANCY’s design, development & deployment
Designed by Nature for Nature
Artificial Reef Program Design & Development for Big Bend of Florida
* These Artificial Reefs have been specially designed and engineered by the BBCC to mimic natural reef structures of our local Gulf waters
* These reefs pictured are SPECIFICALLY designed to ecologically match and enhance the St. Marks Reef system
* The natural limestone embedded in these reefs is the same type of limestone that naturally occurs in our near-shore and off-shore areas; oyster shells also can be used for near-shore areas; No two reefs are the same; just like in nature
* Notice the difference in the spacing between the layers of the two reefs:
- The smaller spacing (of the 3 tier reef) allows habitat for smaller fish such as juvenile grouper (5” – 12” long) as they migrate from the grass beds to the near shore areas
- This smaller spacing will also be great habitat for rock bass and especially stone crabs
- Secondary spacing and holes within the structure are made to look like holes (solution cavities) in natural limestone; each reef will be different – just like in nature’s reef systems
- The total structure is used by free swimming fish to have a point of orientation; the reef positioned on the ocean bottom causes upwelling of nutrients from bottom transport which allows smaller fish to feed
- These reef systems were designed for areas with shallow sand covering limestone – as specifically found in the St. Marks Reef system; fish like flounder that rely on ambush for capturing their prey will find welcome habitat here
- The larger spacing on the two tier structure will be used by larger reef fish such as larger grouper and larger rock bass; the (cement) cypress knees in these structures are exact imprints and cast from real cypress knees and are to mimic a paleo-river channel
* We have used a special high-tensile strength concrete, which is impervious to water intrusion to supply a super- hardened substrate for the marine life that will be immediately colonizing the rock structures
* The course/rough texture of the finished concrete will encourage colonization by sponges, corals (both hard and soft species) and invertebrates to add a wide diversity of ecological niches to each reef system
* Sand can move freely about the bottom of the structure as needed; these will be resting on limestone subsurface
FACTS & FIGURES
ECO-SMART REEFS ™
- The smaller reef weighs ~1,000 pounds & the larger reef weighs ~1,500 pounds
- The economic benefit of an artificial reef is: for each $1.00 invested in building a reef – this translates into $138 in local economic value!
- These reefs were made by a locally owned/operated family business for the BBCC!
- Eco-Smart Reefs are designed and engineered by the Big Bend Coastal Conservancy (BBCC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit which protects our coastal systems
- A recent grant was awarded by FWC (funded through recreational fishing licenses) to the City of St. Marks for $70,000 for enhancement of the St. Marks Artificial Reef (~5 NM South of the Lighthouse) in ~20’ of water
- FWC, DEP, ACOE & EPA strictly regulate artificial reef deployments in State & Federal waters
- The installation of at least 65 of these reef systems is proposed and will be scheduled to be completed by Dec. 2014!
Want to know more?
Contact Tony Murray
by e-mail: BigBendCoastalConservancy@gmail.com
or by phone: (850) 228-4114
Ask about our Memorial Reef Program