Historic Artificial-reef Deployment
A massive artificial reef recently placed off Florida’s east coast in August is expected to provide muchneeded habitat for marine species and supplement the function of natural reefs in the region.
The Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation deployed 134, 4-ton artificial reef modules and 1,000 tons of boulders 1½ miles offshore of Jupiter Inlet, the largest ever by a private foundation on Florida’s east coast.
The sheer size of the new artificial reef is impressive, but it’s the design of the modules, which mimic natural reefs, that makes it unique. Reef modules also cause scouring along the ocean floor, which exposes bedrock and aids in the recruitment of algae, soft corals and sponges.
The $500,000 project was partly funded by a joint venture between Engel Coolers and country music star Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Nation, which donates a portion of its sales to building artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and surrounding rivers and waterways.
“We are very thankful to Engel Coolers for its fundraising and its efforts to gain important media exposure for our work,” said Scott Harris, president of the Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation. “Together, we can make a difference in the future of our marine environment. But the time to act is now, so we hope more folks will get involved via financial support or donating their skills to implement solutions to help our marine habitats adapt to climate change.”