Netherton Reef

Last week, Carl Blow, Commissioner with the St. Augustine Port, Waterway & Beach District, reported to Historic City News on the recent deployment of additional concrete pipe and boxes at the High School Reef. Our story was posted here.

According to Carl, the Netherton Reef, the result of a partnership between St. Augustine Port Waterway & Beach District, Flagler County and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Service now places a second reef approximately 10 miles east of the Matanzas Inlet in 63 feet of water.

The Netherton Reef, named after long time reef researcher and volunteer Jim Netherton, consists of over 940 tons of concrete pipe and boxes donated by Clay and Flagler Counties.

Funding was provided by grants from the Florida Wildlife Commission and the St Augustine Port Waterway & Beach District, according to Commissioner Blow.

Artificial reefs attract fish to an area by providing shelter from predators and, for some species food as algae grows on the concrete. The reef materials must be clean, durable and non-hazardous according to permits issued by the Florida Wildlife Commission and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Artificial reefs help support the recreational fishing and diving industries which generated over $4.3 billion dollars of business in Florida in 2006. The Florida Wildlife Commission has completed studies that show that for every dollar invested in reefs there is a $131.00 return to the local economy.

Contributed Historic City News photo; courtesy of Carl Blow