Jacksonville & The Reef Ball Foundation
To Deploy the Charles H. Kirbo Memorial Reef in Celebration of Ocean Day
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Reef Ball (770) 752-0202, (941)752-0169
Kathy Kirbo, Executive Director
Larry Beggs (941) 650-2519 Project Coordinator
Jacksonville, FL (June 1 24, 2000)- The Jacksonville Reef Research Team,
Jacksonville Offshore Sport Fishing Club, Jacksonville University and
students from St. Augustine, Mandarin High School, along with Reef
Innovations and the Reef Ball Foundation, will be deploying over 700 Reef
Balls off Ponte Vedra beach to create what is to be known as the Charles
H. Kirbo Memorial Reef. These Reef Balls will be deployed in 55' of water
5 miles offshore to create a first-of-its-kind educational research reef.
Members of the Kirbo family, the Reef Ball Groups and local concerns will
be involved in the ceremony to observe this event, that will include the
a barge/tug operation to take them offshore. World Free Diving Champion
Tanya Streeter will participate in the deployment and speak with the
students from the participating schools. Members of the press will have
access to this event on board the La Cruise Casino boat or private boats
to record the event. Deployment dates are Saturday, June 3rd in St.
Augustine, Monday, June 5th and Tuesday, June 6th in Jacksonville. The
reef is being deployed the first week of June in celebration of the United
Nations Ocean Day as the reef will be completed by June 8th-Ocean Day.
The reef is being built to honor Charles H. Kirbo, Sr. who was an attorney
from Atlanta, Georgia who served as an advisor and lawyer to President
Jimmy Carter, was a trustee of the Carter Center and a trustee of the T.M.
and Irene B. Kirbo Charitable Trust. A underwater plaque will be placed on
this reef honoring his life's accomplishments as a lawyer, statesman,
W.W.II Vet., farmer, fisherman and conservationist. Congressman John
Linder said regarding Kirbo's many contributions, "The world may never
know the many great contributions he has made because of his great
modesty." The reef is being built thanks to a grant from the Kirbo
Charitable Trust, The Reef Ball Foundation and support form local
community organizations and businesses.
The goals of this project are to help restore the marine habitat off the
Jacksonville coast and to provide educational and research opportunities
for the greater Jacksonville area. Local high schools, colleges and
community organizations, such as Jacksonville University, Jacksonville
Reef Research Team, St. Augustine and Mandarin High Schools will utilize
the Kirbo Memorial Reef as a site to do scientific studies. Reef Balls are
mound shaped concrete artificial reef modules that mimic natural coral
heads. The modules have different sized holes in them to provide habitat
for many types of marine life. Reef Balls are made by pouring
environmentally safe concrete
into patented mold systems, and are stable on the ocean floor, having been
proven not to move even after hurricane-force winds have passed overhead.
The Reef Ball Foundation has been assisting the educational efforts of
students around the state. As a result of their support, as well as the
contributions of numerous locals businesses, the Reef Ball Project at
Mandarin High School was the recent recipient of the National Sea
World/Busch Gardens Environmental Excellence Award as the most innovative
project in the Planet Ocean category. Selection for the award was done by
a committee from among nine finalists from around the country. Sea World
then flew Mr. Waters and two of his students to Sea World of San Diego in
April to accept the award. In addition, The St. Augustine High School Sea
Explorer Program won the Reef Ball Foundation Educational Project of the
year for 1999.
With over 400 projects worldwide, The Reef Ball Foundation is making a big
splash to help save the world's ailing ocean reefs, and contribute to the
educational efforts of students interested in marine science and preserving
their oceans. The foundation's projects range from the Boy Scouts of
America's High Adventure program in Islamorada, Florida to the government
of Sarawak's marine sanctuary for sea turtles in Malaysia to Instituto
Ecoplan's habitat restoration project in Brazil.
(Press may contact the Reef Ball offices for photos or visit
www.artificialreefs.org for press high-resolution digital photos. If you
are a member of the press and need to reserve your space for a ride on the
press boat to interview key players or to photograph the event, contact
the office soon to reserve your space)
Additional Donations for this project are being accepted at the Reef Ball
Foundation Website (www.reefball.org) by clicking on the giving hand logo
and designating your donation for "The Charles Kirbo Memorial Reef"