Artistic And Environmentally Beneficial Reef Deployed off Hollywood Beach
November 3, 2022
Ocean Rescue Alliance (ORA), in partnership with the Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), has deployed a 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project Site, its first in Broward County, off the coast of Hollywood Beach with 20 Ocean-Friendly Artificial Reef Modules. The Hollywood Site Installation took place on Tuesday with a barge carrying the modules headed to specific permitted sites off the coast of Hollywood.
The Hollywood Artificial Reef is the second for Ocean Rescue Alliance and bringing the total number of Artificial Reef Structures deployed in the ocean off South Florida's coast to 100 since the 1000 Mermaids Project was launched 5 years ago.
1000 Mermaids is a monumental Public Eco-Art Project in the form of an Artificial Reef that serves as an underwater destination for Coral Restoration, Eco-Tourism and research. The Artificial Reef Sculptures, weighing between 2,200-3,300 lbs. each, come outfitted with the patented "Coral Lok" system allowing Coral to be out-planted directly to the structures. The structures, built by Reef Cells in Boynton Beach, have Biological Bases specifically engineered to support Fish Habitats and provide Coral Restoration opportunities. They will be placed just a few miles southeast of the Port Everglades Inlet and will be capable of being a recipient site for transplanted Corals. Of the 20 Artificial Reef Structures being deployed, 5 feature artistic sculptures such as mermaids, a swim up selfie mermaid tail and an industrial diver suit.
"The Hollywood 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project site will enhance the nearshore Reef Ecosystem and serve as a real attraction for the dive community,” says Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy, who also serves as Chairperson of the City’s CRA. "These Artificial Reef Modules will entice Reef fish and support Coral Restoration, while at the same time as being beautiful pieces of art, divers will want to come and see them and be photographed with them. We hope to expand it in the future to offer additional underwater sites for beachgoers to swim to from the shore.”
Ocean Rescue Alliance's 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project works to bring awareness to the growing problems affecting our Natural Reefs. This Project fuses art and science with artistic Reef Sculptures that look and function like Natural Reefs.
"The Hollywood Beach Reef Site creates an opportunity to connect the community back to the Marine Environment," says Shelby Thomas, Co-Founder and CEO of Ocean Rescue Alliance. "More importantly, this Reef Site will continuously host and protect Marine Life while facilitating unique opportunities for Education and Outreach Programs with Organizations such as the South Florida Association of Environmental Professionals, The Reef Discovery Center, Nova Southeastern University and many more.”
Reef Cells uses Eco-Friendly materials including: Limestone, Concrete & Calcium Carbonate that encourage Corals and other sea creatures to attach themselves to the Reef with Reef shapes that are strategically designed to provide a home to thousands of fish and invertebrates.
"It has been a beautiful dream 5 years in the making to help bring this revolutionary project come to life in our backyard. We're extremely excited to provide citizen science opportunities enabling anyone from a Middle School Student to a Veteran to help Out-Plant Coral fragments while diving the Reef," says Evan Snow, Co-Founder & COO of the Ocean Rescue Alliance & 1000 Mermaids Project.
Coral Reefs provide an estimated $375 Billion per year around the world in goods and services with NOAA estimating South Florida Reefs have an asset value of $8.5 Billion generating $4.4 Billion in local sales and $2 Billion in local income supporting over 70,000 jobs. With current Coral Disease and bleaching events disrupting the Florida Reef Tract, Artificial Reef Developments are a promising innovation to help sustain South Florida’s Reefs.
About Ocean Rescue Alliance and the 1000 Mermaids Project
Ocean Rescue Alliance (ORA) is a Marine Conservation and Restoration 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization that implements innovative technologies to Restore Marine Environments. Through the creation of Artificial Reefs designed to incorporate art, innovative designs and safe materials, ORA wants to enhance Marine Habitats and provide unique diving locations worldwide that create lasting Habitat for Marine Organisms, increase Coastal Resiliency and expand Ecosystem Services. “Like” us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/1000mermaids Or follow us on Instagram at: @1000mermaids. For more information go to: www.1000mermaids.com Or at: www.oceanrescuealliance.org