1) SCIENCE NEWS: The Sarasota Bay
Juvenile Fisheries Habitat Assessment
report for the National Estuary Program is out. In regards to the
artificial reefs (including thousands of Reef Balls) it says, "Many of the
reef dependent species such as tomtate, gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus) and
gag (Mycteroperca microlepis) were observed in much higher densities on the
artificial reefs than in the seine samples on other habitat types. This also
held true for the commercially important stone crab (Menippe mercenaria).
The complexity of the material as well as the length of time since
deployment appeared to be factors in the diversity of species that were
observed. The artificial reef materials in the SBNEP study area provide a
unique habitat type for a variety of reef dependent species and continued
deployment of reef material is recommended." You can find a copy of the
report at www.artificialreefs.org under "Scientific Reports"
The science is becoming clear, the reefs closest to human activities can
benefit the most from designed artificial reefs. Near shore and inshore
reef systems..although overlooked by many artificial reef programs, are
critical to balancing our total reef ecosystems. If your artificial reef
program has spent its historical efforts only on offshore reefs, now is a
good time to review your management plans and to consider estuary, bay,
seawall and under dock/pier projects.
2) Reef Ball staff and Dr. Lee Harris visited several reef ball projects in
the Dominican Republic over the weekend and documented substantial beach
growth on both the Gran Dominicus and Iberostar reef ball projects. The
Gran Dominicus hotel will add a "Phase II" extension covering another 120
meters of their property (to the east of the existing Reef Balls) and will
move the existing Reef Balls out another 30 yards because the beach has
grown so much they want more swimming area. The Hilton will also add a
submerged Reef Ball breakwater to build the beach on their property while
creating a living reef.
3) Reef Ball headquarters will be closed from March 20-April 7th while staff
is in Argentina. During this time, you may contact us by email at
email@example.com (we may be a bit slow in responding) or by calling the
Reef Ball Foundation offices in Atlanta or Reef Innovations offices in
Orlando (see www.artificialreefs.org for contact information).
4) Reef Ball molds are being ordered by the Kuwait Reef Ball Company for
several projects in the Gulf region.
5) Hundreds of Pallet Ball (with anti-settlement bases) are being deployed
in Georgia, USA by Geothermal Energy Management this month.
6) There are new news article about the Tampa Bay (Florida) Reef Ball
restoration projects by Tampa Bay Watch on our websites, go to
www.artificialreefs.org and click In The News. (There are also new articles
about the Maryland Reef Ball Oyster Recovery Projects).