Artificial Reef ProgramIn order to provide better areas to fish and dive and to enhance local fisheries, artificial reefs are being deployed to provide additional hardbottom areas. These reefs have been created using donated heavy concrete and steel materials like culverts, concrete pilings, light poles, and steel vessels.
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In December 2012 and January 2013, four barges of light poles donated from Florida Power and Light were deployed to create two reefs. The first reef, located in 62-foot depths, had a profile of 27 feet, while the second reef, located in 102-foot depths, had a profile of 25 feet. Post deployment dives on the reefs showed fishes (i.e. triggerfish, black seabass, pelagic baitfish) already utilizing this new habitat.
Last April, the St. Lucie County Artificial Reef Program deployed 2,000 tons of concrete and steel materials in two separate locations (150-foot depth, 110-foot depth). Profiles of these reefs were 11 feet and 14 feet, respectively.
All of these artificial reefs were deployed with the help of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Artificial Reef Construction Grant. The reefs help provide destinations for recreational anglers and divers and habitat for over 110 species of fish and numerous invertebrates.
To get more information about the St. Lucie County Artificial Reef Program, to get involved in the volunteer artificial reef monitoring program, report fishing catches on the artificial reefs or to make tax deductible contributions of either materials or money, please contact Jim Oppenborn, Marine Resource Coordinator, at (772)462-1713 or by email at mailto:email@example.com.