In addition to offering habitat to fish, artificial reefs improve fishing opportunities and create new scuba diving destinations. Photo credit: Florida Sea Grant
Florida Sea Grant augments the state’s artificial reef efforts, worth $3.1 billion annually, by developing and communicating science-based information about improvements to artificial reef technology for the state’s coastal communities and a worldwide audience. Reef development in Florida began in the late 1970s in response to fisheries depletion and habitat degradation. Today, approximately 70-100 public artificial reefs are deployed annually off Florida with federal, state and local government and private funds.
Florida’s artificial reef coordinator recently stated that “Sea Grant’s contribution to Florida’s Artificial Reef Program continues to be significant state-wide.” The state’s recent economic analysis shows that fishing and diving activity on artificial reefs annually provides 39,000 jobs for Floridians, generating $3.1 billion of economic activity.