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What are artificial reefs and why do we need them?

By Melissa Rodriguez

Ever wonder what an artificial reef is and why we need them? Artificial reefs are man-made habitats built from various materials. They create new marine life communities. Over the last several decades, fish and shellfish habitats have been significantly reduced or heavily impacted by the development of our coastal areas, accidents, and severe storms. This has led to a decline in different marine life populations. Artificial reefs provide food, shelter, protection, and spawning areas for hundreds of species of fish and other marine organisms. But artificial reefs are not just for fish. They also provide areas for scuba divers and anglers to use, reducing the human pressures that natural reefs endure every year.

To find out more, visit these sites:

The Reef Ball Foundation, Inc. - Reef Balls are state of the art designed artificial reefs designed to restore ailing coral reefs and to create new fishing and scuba diving reefs. Over 50,000 Reef Balls have been deployed world wide creating over 500 new scuba destinations. Reef Ball sell, rents or leases molds and can provide turnkey solutions for folks wanting to build a reef.

The Reef Ball Coalition, Inc. - The Reef Ball Coalition is an eco-tourist company that sends folks on vacations to build and deploy Reef Ball artificial reefs. On your next scuba vacation why not build a reef to leave for future generations or even your next vacation?

Eternal Reefs, Inc.- Eternal Reefs is a company that builds memorial reefs with Reef Balls, often incorporating cremated remains within the concrete of the Reef Ball. Eternal Reef specializes in creating memorial reefs for scuba divers and other ocean lovers. Help ease the suffering of diving accidents by leaving a living memorial for other divers to remember.

Starfish Reef Builders, Inc.- Starfish Reef Builders, Inc. is a t-shirt company that has designed special "I helped build a Reef" t-shirts where profits go to building Reef Ball reefs. Dive clubs and dive stores can sell these shirts to help raise money for local reef building programs too.

Don't forget to visit the Reef category for more links. What do you think about artificial reefs? Express your opinion on the boards or in the chat room. For current events, don't forget to check the calendar.

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