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BUILDING ARTIFICAL REEFS off JUPITER/JUNO BEACH

Posted by zzz - Lorea Thomson on Monday, December 8th, 2014 at 10:39am.

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Artificial reefs provide habitat for many species and supplement the function of our natural reefs that are increasingly pressured as the boating population in Northern Palm Beach County continues to expand. Our growing population causes our natural reefs to decline, millions and millions of spawned reef fish eggs float away in the current, only to perish for lack of habitat to grow and mature in.

Artificial reefs are man made underwater structures that promote marine life.  They are an excellent way to enhance marine life in open barren areas.  Palm Beach County became involved in the artificial reef program in the 1960"s.  The first artifical reef  created was the east of Palm Beach consisting of a 165' Navy Patrol Craft, a 185' private yacht, and the 440' freighter.  This site is known as the "Palm Beach Corridor".  

Today, there are 52 articial reefs in in Palm Beach County.  In order to draw attention to the importance of artificial reefs and to help recreational divers and sportsmen locate them, ERM created a web-based and Smartphone map that draws the reef location data in real-time from its survey database.   Map users can view important information such as GPS coordinates and reef depth.  In addition, the Smartphone app will also show the user’s location which can be beneficial when navigating to a reef. For instructions on how to download the ESRI ArcGIS Smartphone app and view the reef map, visit www.pbcgov.com/erm/mobile-maps/

Andrew “Red” Harris was a promising young man and lifelong Jupiter resident. He loved diving and fishing in the ocean waters off northern Palm Beach County. Tragically, Andrew was struck by a boat while snorkeling June 8, 2014. Andrew’s family and friends wish to honor his memory by insuring the long-term health and vitality of our local ocean by building artificial reefs in the waters where he loved to dive and fish off northern Palm Beach County.

The Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation is excited to announce that they have created a non-profit partnership to manufacture huge coral reef replicas that will be modeled after the coral heads found in the Bahamas! The coral replicas will range in size up to 8 feet tall, wide and deep.  The coral reef replica modules will be placed in clusters and aligned in north – south corridors in 30 to 90 feet of water on permitted artificial reef sites between Juno Beach and Jupiter.

Over $125,000 has been raised by the Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation so far by giving naming rights and design input for a tax deductible gift of $1,000 per module.  Do you know someone who loves diving, fishing and boating off Jupiter and Juno Beach?  A personalized plaque will be placed on your module. For more information, please contact Scott Harris ,  Andrew "Red" Harris Foundation, 501C3 Non Propfit  Foundation, 18230 River Oaks Drive, Jupiter  at 561-718-7348.

GIVE SOMEONE YOU LOVE an ARTIFICIAL REEF for CHRISTMAS or HOLIDAY GIFT!

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