The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation and Commission (FFWCC) has awarded the Collier County Coastal Zone Management Department $60,000 in grant funds to pay for implementing a new artificial reef along the Gulf coast.
The $60,000 will pay for the deployment of approximately 948 tons of concrete culverts, junction boxes and other acceptable secondary concrete materials which will be placed at the Collier County Doctors Pass 4.5 Mile Artificial Reef Site. Materials will be placed 30 feet below water level to create a habitat for marine life and will also be a suitable diving site for water enthusiasts.
"We received noticed in a letter from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation and Commission this month that we would receive the funds, and we are excited about this opportunity since we have a new permitted spot to deploy the material," said Coastal Zone Management Environmental Specialist Pamela Keyes.
FFWCC is writing a grant contract agreement, which will require the project to be completed by Aug. 31.
"One of the benefits of this grant is that it gives us the ability to increase the amount reef fish habitat as well as improve recreational and charter fishing and diving opportunities in the county," said Bryan Fluech, Collier County Sea Grant Extension Agent.
Currently, Collier County boasts more than 100 offshore artificial reefs. Coastal Zone Management is in the process of building an interactive web map for boaters and interested persons that will allow them to view the location of all artificial reefs showing latitude and longitude locations as well as beaches and boat ramps.
To learn more about the many water opportunities Coastal Zone Management is providing, visit www.colliergov.net/coastalzonemanagement.