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Florida Department of Environmental Protection
1801 S.E. Hillmore Drive, Suite C204
Port St. Lucie, FL 34952
Re: Joint Application for Environmental Resource Permit
Artificial Reef Habitat Adjacent to the Dock at
Indian Riverside Park
Dear Ms. Small:
Enclosed please find an application to construct artificial reef habitat adjacent to the dock at Indian Riverside Park. Martin County proposes to use Reefball artificial reef units as described in the accompanying reports. All construction will take place in water depth of 8 feet or more. A minimum clearance of 6 feet between the water surface and the artificial reef units will be maintained in all cases.
This project is one component of a program to increase public awareness and appreciation of both artificial and natural reefs. It is anticipated that the individual units will be constructed either on site or very close by. Deployment will probably occur by simply inflating a buoy in the cavity of the Reefball and floating each unit out to its designated location. Once the unit is moved to the desired position, the buoy will be deflated, and the Reefball will sink to the river bottom. Ideally, the construction and deployment will be performed by school groups, civic associations, environmental groups, etc. We will be working in partnership with the Environmental Learning Center and the Florida Oceanographic Center throughout this program.
Reefballs are desirable for construction in the river for several reasons. First, each individual unit is a self contained artificial reef, having crevices and holes for juvenile fish to hide, a concrete substrate for marine growth to attach and excellent stability. The relief of an individual unit can be as little as 2 feet.
These units have been successfully used to create artificial reefs in similar areas of Florida. One of the largest projects occurred in Sarasota Bay, where Reefballs were placed out in the bay and also along shorelines and docks. Like the Sarasota project, the County proposes to place the Reefballs under and next to the main dock at Indian Riverside Park. Construction will be limited to areas under and north of the main dock, to avoid the high boat traffic areas near the finger piers.
The County currently holds a submerged land lease in this area as shown on the enclosed drawings. Matching funds for this project have been obtained from the Florida Inland Navigation District's Waterways Assistance Program contingent on all permits being issued prior to September. Two additional artificial reef permit applications will be forthcoming from the County. One site is on the east side of the Indian River near the Florida Oceanographic Society's site and the other is near Hell's Gate in the St. Lucie River. These applications will be submitted within the next two (2) weeks, when survey drawings are complete.
If you have any questions, please contact me at (772) 288-5429.
Kathy FitzPatrick, P.E.
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Monday, 08-Apr-2002 12:13:57 EDT
Martin County Administrative Center
2401 SE Monterey Road
Stuart, FL 34996