HomeNewsUSAFloridaFlorida Artificial Reef news, notes and reminders

Please see below for Florida’s latest artificial reef news, notes and reminders:

  • Join us live! Southeast FL Artificial Reef Workshop, West Palm Beach, FL: Tuesday, February 6, 2018
  • FWC Call for Florida Artificial Reef Grant Applications for FY 18-19: Due March 16, 2018
  • The Artificial Reefs of Tampa Bay, Tampa, FL: Wednesday, March 21, 2018
  • Save-the-Date for the North Central FL Artificial Reef Workshop, Cedar Key, FL: April 18, 2018
  • Recent Artificial Reef Publications and Reports

Southeast FL Artificial Reef Workshop, West Palm Beach, FL: TODAY, Tuesday, February 6, 2018 (Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center 6000 North Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach) 8:30am – 4pm

Participate remotely!  Reminder that we’ll be broadcasting live during tomorrow’s workshop.  Agenda attached.  Tune in at the Florida Artificial Reefs Facebook page or by visiting flseagrant.org/live at 9:30am to join us.

artificial reef group

UF logo                  FWC logo                  Seagrant Logo



FWC Call for Florida Artificial Reef Grant Applications FY 18-19: Due Friday, March 16, 2018

Call for applicationsFWC artificial reef construction and monitoring grant applications are currently being accepted for fiscal year 2018-19.

The forms are an Adobe .pdf document with text fields that can be typed and printed from your computer.  For those of you with Adobe Writer, you will be able to save your text entries (for those with Adobe Reader your entries will not be saved, but you can still conveniently type and print your text entries from the form).  Applications must be received no later than Friday March 16, 2018, by 5pm.  Applications for artificial reef construction must be accompanied by documentation of an active permitted site valid through August 31, 2019.

As always, we strongly encourage all applicants to share a draft application proposal with us prior to final submittal.  This would give us an opportunity to help identify any questions, any missing items in the application, or provide assistance with any anticipated permitting challenges or other questions.

The announcement, application forms and instructions can be downloaded from the FWC Artificial Reef Program website: http://myfwc.com/conservation/saltwater/artificial-reefs




The Artificial Reefs of Tampa Bay: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 (Adventure Outfitters, 4316 S. Manhattan Ave., Tampa FL) 6:30am – 7:30pm

tampa reef mapLearn about Tampa Bay’s artificial reefs from Chris Pratt of the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) during the monthly free guest lecture series at Adventure Outfitters dive shop, Tampa.  Chris will provide an overview of Tampa Bay’s artificial reefs and share the results of their recently completed survey of the epibenthic macroinvertebrate communities. Snacks and refreshments provided.

For more information, please contact Jenny Blevins, info@adventuretampa.com or (813) 832-6669.









 Save-the-Date:  North Central FL Artificial Reef Workshop, Cedar Key, FL: April 18, 2018 (Nature Coast Biological Station, 552 1st Street, Cedar Key, FL)

nature coastPlease save the date for the North Central Florida Artificial Reef Manager’s Workshop. This meeting will bring together about fifty artificial reef managers, scientists and others interested in artificial reefs to discuss new research, statewide initiatives and regional updates for Florida’s ‘Nature Coast’ region. This one-day workshop will be held at the Nature Coast Biological Station, 552 1st Street, Cedar Key, FL (https://ncbs.ifas.ufl.edu/).  Stay tuned for registration information and the draft agenda.  For more information, please contact Victor Blanco, victorblancomar@ufl.edu or (850) 838-3508 Ext. 305.





Recent Artificial Reef Publications and Reports

Rosemond RC, Paxton AB, Lemoine HR, Fegley SR, Peterson CH (2018). Fish use of reef structures and adjacent sand flats: implications for selecting minimum buffer zones between new artificial reefs and existing reefs. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 587:187-199.

Abstract: Artificial reefs are deployed worldwide to enhance fisheries. Placement of artificial reefs relative to nearby existing artificial and natural reefs can influence fish use of these structures, yet no quantitative guidelines exist for selecting optimal distances between new and existing reefs. Here, we documented fish abundance, biomass, species richness, community composition, and key environmental variables on 24 artificial and natural reefs with adjacent sand flats to infer minimum buffer distances around existing reefs where placement of new artificial reefs should be avoided. At each site, we surveyed 4 transects: one 30 m transect across reef structure and 3 consecutive 30 m transects of increasing distance from the reef across sand bottom. Fish abundance, biomass, and species richness were highest on reefs and progressively decreased across adjacent sand flats. Environmental variables influenced these community metrics, but patterns of fish habitat use persisted. Fish community composition shifted gradually from reefs across adjacent sand flats, with fish communities on reefs most dissimilar to communities on sand bottom farthest from the reefs. A minimum buffer of 60 m (30 m around existing reefs plus 30 m around new reefs) or 120 m (60 m plus 60 m) between reefs would encompass 77 and 97%, respectively, of fishes utilizing sand-bottom habitat around each reef. Future artificial reef deployment should maintain these minimum buffer zones between reefs to more effectively enhance fisheries by minimizing attraction of fishes from existing reefs, while also maximizing food resource availability for reef fishes and area for routine reef fish behaviors. Full journal article available here: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12428


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Florida panther mortality update
 The FWC has updated the “Panther Pulse” page with mortality information through February 6, 2018 as of 12:30 p.m. This information can be viewed at: http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/panther/pulse/

The remains of a 4-month-old male panther UCFP327 were collected on 5 Feb 2018 on CR846 in Collier County (UTM 17R 458396 2918951). The suspected cause of death was vehicle collision.


Biologists gain valuable information by examining panther remains.  Report injured or dead panthers to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

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