With the creation of several new artificial reefs deployed over the last three weeks, Martin County has grown its Artificial Reef Program, adding new sites for fisherman and divers to explore offshore.
Approximately 3,000 tons of concrete material was deployed in the waters off southern Martin County, south of the St. Lucie Inlet, including 400 tons of concrete material donated by Florida Power & Light’s St. Lucie Plant to help create these reefs.
Each new patch reef is made up of approximately 500 tons of material. The materials were transported by barge by McCulley Marine Services to deployment sites offshore.
Most of the concrete pieces were provided by local contractors and include large culverts, concrete poles and thick concrete slabs. An agreement with Florida Power & Light ensures a steady stream of concrete poles will come to the program.
The concrete pieces are collected at the Martin County transfer station by the Utilities Department as part of a recycling effort to free up valuable space in landfills. Tipping fees are waived for drop off of future artificial reef material. These deployments are partially funded by a grant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
To date, over 95 artificial reefs have been created and have become popular spots for fishermen and divers. Each reef offers a bounty of rich aquatic life, some creating ideal locales for saltwater anglers and recreational divers while others provide habitat for protection of the fishery.