Creating Marine Habitat The Artificial Reef part 1

Uploaded by MyFWCvideos on 15.11.2012

Florida has always taken a leadership role in fisheries research and fisheries management.
Our scientific programs and facilities
rank among the finest and most advanced in the world,
while management efforts reflect a hands-on approach
based on the science developed.
More than 2 1/2 million anglers probing 8,500 miles of coastline
in the 35 coastal counties
enjoy spectacular recreational fishing opportunities
because Florida cares about its marine resources.
I'm Mark Sosin and fishing Florida's waters
has been an ongoing passion since I stood waist high to my father.
Let me bring you up-to-date about a fascinating program designed to create
marine habitat through the construction of artificial reefs.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in cooperation with the
Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program presents
"Creating Marine Habitat The Artificial Reef".
An artificial reef is created when natural or manmade objects
are intentionally placed on the sea floor to sustain
and enhance the spawning, feeding, and growth of various fish species.
By providing habitat and concentrating populations of different fishes,
artificial reefs offer a mecca for both the recreational angler and the sport diver.
They also play an essential role in fisheries research
and are sometimes used for fisheries conservation and preservation purposes.
Florida has over 1,900 permitted artificial reef sites
placed at depths from 12 to 300 feet in over 300 designated areas.
That exceeds the number of artificial reefs
in all the other Gulf and East Coast states combined.
The primary reason for this is that Florida has a unique marine environment
stretching along a heavily populated, dual coastline
with 34 of 35 coastal counties participating in the program.
Unlike other states where all the permits are held
by marine fisheries management agencies,
Florida's reef program represents a long-standing, cooperative partnership
with various coastal governments.
Local coastal governments hold the permits and accept the liability
for compliance with permit requirements.
Their artificial reef coordinators team up with local fishing and diving interests
to develop, manage, and monitor artificial reefs in their waters.
The artificial reef program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
works toward enhancing marine recreational fishing opportunities
and promoting proper management of fisheries resources for the public interest.
The state, using monies generated from saltwater fishing license revenues
and the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program,
grants some $600,000 annually to fund the placement of artificial reefs
and to scientifically monitor the existing ones.
The Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program returns revenue received
through the 10 percent excise tax on fishing tackle and boating equipment
back to the states based on land and water area plus number of fishing licenses sold.
Artificial reef construction has changed dramatically in recent years.
Today, it is a well-planned, scientific based, coordinated deployment process
utilizing properly placed, long term and stable material.
It also helps to have materials that are readily available and easy to transport.
No longer is it simply a solid waste repository
for anything that cannot find another home.
The days of simply tossing waste materials into the sea are over.
The modern, state-funded reef is designed to stay in the same position
and not move or break up for a period of at least 20 years,
regardless of storms, shifting currents, or any other natural phenomenon.
It is essential that the materials used prove compatible with the marine environment.
This helps to produce effective and somewhat permanent habitat
for everything from small marine organisms to coveted gamefish.
Concrete in various shapes ranks as the primary material for artificial reefs.
Not only is it heavy, stable, durable, and non-polluting,
but concrete comes closest to natural rock and reefs,
fostering the growth of algae, sponges, and coral.
Shapes may be as basic as culverts, pilings, or bridge demolition rubble,
but the trend today is toward carefully fabricated modules
of which there are a number of different types.
Reef modules can be engineered and built to incorporate design features
that will more effectively achieve specific reef management objectives.
The use of high quality marine grade concrete, strengthening additives,
the shape of the unit itself, and quality control in its construction
create products that will remain intact, in place,
and perform as reef habitat for decades.
Man-made modules offer several advantages.
They have a roughened surface so that invertebrates can attach easily
along with holes of various dimensions
to accommodate a broad range of organisms.
They come in several different sizes
designed to fit various types of habitat and management needs.
An interesting aspect is that at some locations,
several sizes can be deployed together to create habitat
for a range of marine life stages from juveniles to fully grown specimens.
Some module types are being utilized in coral reef damage projects.
Corals broken by ship groundings, dredge activity, or major storms
can be cemented onto the surface of modular units
to foster the continued survival and growth
of broken coral pieces that otherwise would not live.
In addition to concrete, limestone rock, and reef modules used in the reef program,
steel materials play a lesser, but continuing role in creating reefs
where stability, durability, and environmental cleaning standards are met.
As an example, 80 armored battle tanks were deployed in 1995
as artificial reefs in a six county Gulf of Mexico project in Florida.
They have survived two hurricanes and will serve as successful
fishing and diving reefs for an estimated 50 to 75 years.
When these tanks were prepared in a cooperative project with the army,
each one was demilitarized and carefully cleaned,
with all engines, hydraulics, and other material removed
that might break off or cause any type of pollution.
The chief advantage of these materials such as ships and demilitarized vehicles
vehicles is that they are usually donated at no cost,
but preparation and deployment may be tedious and expensive.
Sometimes it's easier to use reef modules of the same basic size and shape.