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Natural Resource Damage Assessment Early Restoration Phase III – Northwest Florida Artificial Reef Creation and Restoration Project

The intent of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Early Restoration Phase III, Florida Artificial Reef Creation and Restoration project is to provide enhanced or additional long-term recreational opportunities through construction and restoration of artificial reefs.

In response to a request for project proposals, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) were  jointly awarded funding and began Phase III Early Restoration in 2013.

This project includes the deployment of an anticipated 3,000 or more prefabricated artificial reefs across five counties and within 48 different permitted areas located in state waters (Figure 1). The total estimated cost for this project is $11,463,587, making it one of the largest, artificial reef construction projects in the history of Florida’s artificial reef program

In addition to reef deployment required monitoring activities include:

  1. Pre-construction natural bottom and/or historical resource surveys
  2. Post-construction biological and structural surveys
  3. Human-use monitoring to determine angler/diver utilization

The reefs that will be deployed will consist of a combination of the following five approved, general designs.

Approved Reef Designs

Small Tetrahedron

6-8 ft. tall, 10 ton (maximum) hollow concrete walled structure with three or more sides.The unit shall have a solid bottom or an opening greater than 36 in. in diameter at the top to prohibit turtle entrapment.

Large Tetrahedron Reef

This unit is a larger version of the original small tetrahedron described above. 18 ft. tall (maximum), 18 ton (maximum).

Concrete Disk Reef

8ft tall (maximum), three or more rock or shell embedded concrete layers are mounted on the piling. Primarily for inshore snorkeling reefs. 

Ledge and Disk Reef

6-8 ft. tall, 4 ton (maximum) concrete hollow base structure, with at least one side almost entirely open. The unit shall have a vertical attached to the top (5 ft. minimum).

Large Dome Reef

6-8 ft. tall, 7 ton (maximum) concrete structures in the shape of a dome with a solid base and multiple small holes throughout the structure.