News fish

Published on March 30th, 2013 | by NSB Observer

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A Glimpse Beneath the Waves

Artificial reefThe coral reefs of the world are in danger, but that doesn’t mean that nothing can be done for the ocean’s inhabitants.  Across the globe, artificial reefs are being constructed in order to provide a new stable habitat for aquatic wildlife.  Volusia County is no exception in this endeavor.  The Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet has already begun this process on our shores and within their own walls.  Visitors can find an enormous artificial reef tank in their exhibit gallery to get a close look at exactly how these reefs work.

coralThe process allows a reef to exist just about anywhere, even on a featureless, sandy ocean floor.  The reefs are constructed using manmade materials such as cement blocks, tires, or even sunken ships.  This provides a hard surface that aquatic life like algae, coral, and barnacles may attach to in order to begin a thriving ecosystem.  However, artificial reefs aren’t only for the wildlife.  They may be used to better surfing conditions or protect a shoreline.  They also provide a flourishing fishing spot, bursting with life where there may have been virtually nothing before.

On Saturday, April 6, the Marine Science Center is teaming up with the Halifax Sportfishing Club and Volusia County Reef Research Dive Team to host a seminar to educate the public on artificial reef systems at the Lifeguard Headquarters and Administration Center in Daytona Beach.  “The goal is to educate anyone who is interested about the county’s marine wildlife and artificial fishing reef system,” said County Coastal Division Director Joe Nolin. “The reef system is an economic engine for the regional marine industry and an amazing ecological resource.”  The seminar will cover everything from the building, fishing, diving and monitoring of the artificial reefs off the coast of Volusia County to the benefits, design and construction of artificial reefs; the basics of fishing artificial reefs including preparation, locating the reefs, and proper anchoring and fishing techniques; how to dive artificial reefs; and how to help monitor the growth and development of the reef over time.

The Marine Science Center has been a staple of Volusia County for years, not only educating the public on the importance of protecting wildlife, but rehabilitating sea turtles, sea birds, and various other species after injury or sickness.  Each year, the center celebrates the recovery and release of those animals with Turtle Day, happening later in April.  The center also participates in research of reef preservation and coral propagation.sea turtle

The Marine Science Center is encouraging the public to attend this seminar to better understand what is being done to preserve the marine habitat, as well as to see how they can become involved.

To add this event to your calendar, click here.

Story and photos by Kelsey Arnold

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