On February 6th of this year, Florida Sea Grant and representatives from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties gathered together to plan and co-host the Southeast Florida Artificial Reef Workshop. Spearheaded by Florida Sea Grant, these events are held every two to three years and involve partnerships with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, each participating county’s artificial reef coordinator, UF/IFAS Extension, and other partners. This year’s workshop featured presentations about:
- The artificial reef programs of Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties, as well as updates from the state’s artificial reef program
- Results of research on artificial reefs and grouper species in the Western Sambo Ecological Reserve in the Florida Keys
- Discussion on a new model for artificial reefs and fish enhancement
- Sea Turtles and Artificial Reefs: Considerations for Material Use and Site Planning
- Reef Smart Guides: creating 3D dive maps of SE FL artificial reefs
- US Army Corps of Engineers Permitting Process
- Artificial Reef Symposium summary from the 2017 American Fisheries Society Conference
The event offered opportunities for discussion, collaboration and networking opportunities between various agencies and counties. Participants included natural resource management and regulatory agency employees, fishers, scuba divers, and environmental consultants. Through the final evaluation, participants indicated a high level of satisfaction with the event.
This workshop took place at the Manatee Lagoon Eco-Discovery Center in West Palm Beach, which delighted the participants with manatee sightings throughout the day (photo). With technical support from UF/IFAS Extension and Florida Sea Grant, the workshop was live-streamed on Facebook so that outside participation was possible. The next workshop is tentatively scheduled for 2020.
For more information on Miami-Dade County’s artificial reef program, please visit here: