All systems go for Jacksonville, Florida reefing project
Two new fishing reefs planned for the St. Johns River in the heart of Jacksonville are one major step closer to reality after the state of Florida matched a pledge by the Building Conservation Trust to fully fund the project. The two reefs are scheduled for deployment in late spring/early summer and will be placed less than half a mile from the I-95 Bridge over the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville.
The Jacksonville Chapter of CCA Florida then raised the matching funding and worked with the state of Florida to realize the vision. The Jacksonville reefs are an opportunity to create valuable marine habitat in an area of the river where the public has unparalleled access, and where a wide variety of fish can be found depending on the time of year, right in the shadow of high-rise office buildings.
The deployment will consist of more than 25,000 cubic feet of concrete rubble and the material will be arranged to provide sufficient clearance from the surface, with three to four foot mounds intermixed with open spaces to create an ideal habitat for fish.
The site is currently open, barren sand, setting the stage for a remarkable transformation. Jacksonville University has announced plans to study the reefs over the next two years to gauge the impact of the structures on the surrounding area. The Jacksonville reefs are the latest of 14 marine habitat restoration projects undertaken by BCT since it was created in 2010.