Artificial Reef Directory
Voice your opinions on southeast Florida's coral reefs at Our Florida Reefs
Report what you see on the reefs through SEAFAN
Marine habitats have been significantly impacted by coastal development, user pressures, and hurricanes. The reduction of these habitats has led to the decline of many marine organisms.
Construct artificial reefs to function as natural reef systems providing habitat for hundreds of species of fish and other marine life.
- Provide food, shelter, protection, and spawning areas for fish and marine life.
- Relieve user pressure from natural reefs by providing alternative recreational areas.
- Support a multi-million dollar industry in Palm Beach County that provides thousands of jobs. Click here to read the 2001 Socioeconomic Study of Reefs in Southeast Florida.
What is an Artificial Reef?
Artificial reefs are man-made habitats placed in areas away from natural reefs that provide a framework for new hard bottom communities to develop. Artificial reefs use materials that mimic natural reef systems such as concrete and limestone. Occasionally ships are deployed, but usually in combination with concrete and limestone to increase habitat diversity.
Palm Beach County's Artificial Reef Program
- Artificial Reef and Environmental Enhancement Committee (AREEC)
Created in 1985 by the Board of County Commissioners, local government officials, commercial and recreational anglers, SCUBA divers, scientists, and conservationists review, discuss, and make recommendations for artificial reef and estuarine enhancement projects.
- Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
Since 1987, ERM has managed the artificial reef program for Palm Beach County. Over 45 vessels, 82,000 tons of concrete, and 130,000 tons of limestone boulders have been deployed to create artificial reefs in the County's nearshore and offshore waters.
- Palm Beach County Reef Research Team
Formed in 1991, this group of volunteer divers monitor marine life on the County's reefs, both natural and artificial, which provides valuable data for management decisions and scientific research.
To see more on the Reef Research Team, click here.
Artificial Reefs within Palm Beach County
WARNING: Many artificial fishing reefs lie in water depths that exceed the recommended sport diving limitations. Any swimmer, diver, or snorkeler shall approach or visit each artificial reef at his or her own risk. The Palm Beach County Artificial Reef Program and Committee, the Board of County Commissioners of Palm Beach County, and the County of Palm Beach are not responsible for any hazards which may exist or arise on, about, or near the artificial reefs, or for any injuries or fatalities which may occur as a result of any person's presence on, about, or near the artificial reefs.
Current Highlights and Upcoming Events
- Hungryland Slough Natural Area - REOPENED
- Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative Grant Program
Now accepting applications for FY 2017. Deadline to submit is August 15, 2016. [LINK]
- Pawpaw Preserve - UPDATE
The Pawpaw Preserve Natural Area draft management plan is now available for public review. Public comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org,or can be provided at the May 26, 2016 Public Hearing and Open House. Click on the link for time and location. [LINK]
- Adventure Awaits - Sunrise Hike, May 7th 6:30am
Join us for a guided hike through Cypress Creek Natural Area in Jupiter. For more details and to reserve your spot, click on the link to the event page. [EVENT PAGE]
- Adventure Awaits - Firewalk, The Spark of Life, May 24th 5:30pm
Join us at Sweetbay Natural Area in Palm Beach Gardens for this guided hike. For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page. [EVENT PAGE]
- Adventure Awaits - Namaste, Yoga in the Natural Areas, May 25th 6:30pm
Join us at Yamato Scrub Natural Area in Boca Raton for this unique experience. For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page. [EVENT PAGE]
- Lake Worth Lagoon Fishing Challenge, June 1st - 30th
Interested in helping collect valuable fisheries information while getting a chance to win a prize? If so, you'll want to participate in this free fishing event. Visit the web page for details. [LINK]
- Running Wild, June 4th 7:00am
Run with ERM at Loxahatchee Slough Natural Area will cover approximately 10 miles and take participants through a variety of habitats on a combination of hardened and primitive trails. For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page. [EVENT PAGE]
- Adventure Awaits - Sunset Photography Workshop, June 10th 6:00pm
Take part in a guided photography tour of Winding Waters Natural Area in West Palm Beach. For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page. [EVENT PAGE]
- Adventure Awaits - Sunset Paddle, June 15th 5:30pm
Come paddle with ERM staff to Fullerton Island in Jupiter as the sun sets over this recently restored 12 acre maritime hammock island with newly created seagrass and mangrove habitat. For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page. [EVENT PAGE]
- Adventure Awaits - Growing Up Wild, Connecting Kids to Nature, June 18th 9:00am
ERM staff will lead you and your child on a guided walk through the woods at Royal Palm Beach Pines Natural Area highlighting points of interest associated with "Birds in Your Backyard" followed by an arts and crafts project each child can take home. For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page.
- Adventure Awaits - Bike and Hike, June 25th 8:00am
Discover the trails of Loxahatchee Slough with ERM staff during this unique tour that incorporates cycling and hiking. For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page.
- Environmental Times Newsletter
Read the latest edition Spring 2016 for highlights on artificial reefs, climate change, LagoonFest and more. [LINK]
- Volunteer Accomplishments in 2015
See what ERM's volunteers were up to in 2015. [PDF]
- Mosquito Control Update - Zika Virus
While ERM's Mosquito Control Division is hard at work taking proactive steps to reducing mosquito popluations learn how you can protect yourself and reduce your exposure to mosquitoe-borne diseases. [PDF]
- Scavenger Hunts
Are available at several natural areas for youngsters to complete to recieve their Natural Area Youth Explorer certificate.
- ERM's Status Reports
Stay up to date on our projects with these monthly publications. [LINK]