Artificial reefs look to clean water

Artificial reefs look to clean water

Last month, we explored natural design and efforts to reverse the negative effects of years of marine and coastline construction. As Southwest Florida residents, we have been paying close attention to the water quality issues we have endured this year as well as in previous years. We want to learn more about what causes these red tide and algae blooms and be a part of finding solutions.

As the Army Corps of Engineers examines Lake Okeechobee releases and ways to clean fresh water being sent east and west, others in government and business are also looking at ways to address water quality. Our very own Fort Myers just approved $10,000 for a pilot program to install 50 artificial reefs in a Fort Myers Beach canal.

These new artificial reefs are designed and made locally by David Wolff of Ocean Habitats Inc. The reefs act much like the roots of a mangrove tree, providing shelter for fish and shellfish to grow while harboring beneficial bacteria. Each unit is designed to provide better water flow to encourage shellfish filtration, which accounts for more than 30,000 gallons of filtered water each day.

While these artificial reefs are not capable of solving our water issues singlehandedly, efforts like this between government and the private sector continuously push us toward our goal. We look forward to learning more about the Army Corps plans as well as other initiatives designed to create sustainable water management.

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