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Date: Oct 26 1999 13:46:05 EDT
From: "Reef Ball's Interested List" <>
Subject: Reef Ball Update

Message #114

1) The Reef Ball Development Group will have a booth, Staffed By Larry Beggs, Jay Jorgensen and Patty Jorgensen with free Reef Ball videos at the 52nd meeting of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute which is held Nov. 1-5 at the Holiday Inn Beachside in Key West. Stop by and see us.

2) Reef Ball President Todd Barber will give a talk about artificial reefs and Reef Balls at Del Valle’s Biology department on Friday November 19th in Guatemala City, Guatemala. During the 5 day trip (Nov. 19-23), Reef Ball staff plan on meeting with the Board of Directors of the Asociacion Tierra y Oceano, Dr. Dix, head of the Biology department of Del Valle University, representatives from INGUAT (Guatemalan Tourism Institute), CONAP (National Council on Protected Areas), CONAMA (National Council on the Environment) and possibly IDAEH (Institute on Anthropology and Archeology), the Mayor of Puerto Barrios and the Commander of the Atlantic Naval Base. The goal of the trip is to assist the Asociacion Tierra y Oceano in all phases of the planned Reef Ball project.



For Immediate Release Contact: Larry Beggs

JACKSONVILLE,FL (Oct. 14, 1999)- Reef Ball Foundation, Inc., inventor of attractive, environmentally safe artificial reefs, is in the construction phase of making 500 Reef Balls to be deployed about 6 miles off the coast between St. Augustine and Jacksonville. This innovative and proven reef design is the first of its kind to be deployed in all of Northeast Florida. The site of the construction is at the Music Shed downtown, provided courtesy of the Jacksonville Riverfront Corporation.

The reef is being built in honor of Charles H. Kirbo, who served as an advisor to President Jimmy Carter, was a trustee of the Carter Center and a trustee of the T.M. and Irene B. Kirbo Charitable Trust. The reef is being built thanks to a grant from the Kirbo Charitable Trust and the Reef Ball Foundation.

The project will be a collaboative effort between local schools, such as Mandarin and Fletcher High Schools, St. Augustine High School and Jacksonville University, and community organizations and local businesses such as the Jacksonville Offshore Sport Fishing Club and the Jacksonville Reef Research Team. Construction of the Reef Balls is being done by Reef Innovations. Representatives from each of these organizations will be present to answer questions about their involvement. The project coordinator, Larry Beggs, is Vice President of Reef Ball Development Group, Ltd. and president of Reef Innovations.

Reef Balls are mound shaped concrete artificial reef modules that mimic natural coral heads. The modules have many 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. They are engineered to be simple to make and deploy, and are unique in that they can be floated to their drop site behind any boat by utilizing an internal, inflatable bladder. However, due to the sheer size of this reef, it will have to be taken offshore on a barge. Reef Balls are designed to be stable on the ocean floor, and have been proven not to move even after hurricane force winds have passed overhead.

Patented Reef Ball systems have several advantages over the artificial reefs currently being built. The modules are affordable, easy to deploy, and they populate with fish quickly. Additionally, because the reef can be placed on the sea floor in a systematic way, it lends itself to doing fish studies. This is where the local schools and Reef Research Team can take advantage of them in an effort to use this as a research reef. Students from area colleges and high schools will be trained to collect data, like water quality and fish counts, to contribute to a database of information on the productivity of reefs. Reef Balls are unique among other artificial reefs since they are designed to attract the same number and densities of marine species as the natural reefs. Not having too many or too few of all marine species helps to keep the reefs in "balance" so that production of fish occurs rather than just an attraction of fish. The overall benefit they provide is for increased fish habitat for fishermen and divers in Northeast Florida to utilize in addition to the reefs already offshore.

With 50,000 Reef Balls built and deployed in over 500 projects worldwide, Reef Ball Foundation, Inc. is making a big splash to help save the world's ailing ocean reefs, and contribute to the educational efforts of students interested in the marine sciences. Upon completion of the project, Reef Ball will be loaning students at both Mandarin and St. Augustine High Schools up to six molds apiece to continue construction of balls that can be deployed at a later date next spring.


More Later...See You in Key West!


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