Artificial Reef Program
The Miami-Dade County Artificial Reef Program was established in 1981. Documented artificial reed construction in Miami's coastal waters, however, predates the program by more than five decades.
Over this time the County has supervised the deployment of an extensive amount of material among 11 inshore and 17 offshore artificial reef sites including almost 50 large vessels, two retired oil production platforms, thousands of tons of cast concrete materials and natural limestone, and U.S. Army surplus military tanks.
Miami-Dade has also become known as a premier wreck-diving destination. As a result of these combined efforts, the Miami-Dade County program is regarded as the largest (in terms of materials deployed) program of its kind in Florida, which leads the nation in number of established artificial reef sites.
Presently the program seeks to provide enhancement in three areas:
Habitat restoration and enhancement
Increase recreational diving opportunities
Artificial Reef LocationsBack to Top
Key Biscayne Special Management Zone
The intent of the Key Biscayne Special Management Zone — established in 1990 — is to restrict the use of highly efficient or selective fishing gear, thereby limiting the potential impacts of unrestrained fishing pressure, while maintaining most recreational uses of the site.Back to Top
How Artificial Reefs Are Built
Artificial Reefs are essentially made of durable, stable and environmentally safe materials (usually steel or concrete) placed on an area of ocean bottom conducive to reef building plants and animals.
Once the material is in place, it acts in the same way that naturally occurring rock outcroppings do by providing the hard surface needed for reef-building organisms like barnacles, corals, sponges and clams to begin their creation.Back to Top
Learn the history of artificial reefs in Miami-Dade County going back to 1920, including the establishment of the County program in 1981.Back to Top
Miami-Dade County's Artificial Reef Program is funded with the help of:
- State and federal grants
- Permit or mitigation obligations
- Private or corporate donations
The most important contributions to the Artificial Reef Program are those from individuals, corporations, agencies and foundations that value the protection and enhancement of South Florida marine and estuarine habitats. All contributions are tax deductible.Back to Top
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