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County deploys 2 artificial reefs south of the Sebastian Inlet


Indian River County has deployed two new artificial reefs to increase fish habitat and diving opportunities. 

In July, workers sank 500 tons of recycled concrete from old culverts, barriers and bridge decking in about 50 feet of water three miles offshore about five miles south of the Sebastian Inlet to form JK Patch Reef South. At the same time, they put down JK Patch Reef North – a cluster of 10 limestone-concrete pyramid modules about 600 feet away.

The two new reefs are located near the Wabasso Fishing Reef – a structure deployed in June that was made of broken up concrete from the hurricane-ravaged fishing pier on the south side of the Wabasso Causeway.

All three structures are part of what the county's Coastal Resources Coordinator Kendra Cope calls "a small but growing artificial reef program" spread across a series of 40-acre sites five to eight miles south of the inlet that were permitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2016.

"The purpose of the county's artificial reef program is to build new habitat for recreational and important fisheries," Cope wrote in an email to 32963. "The county looks forward to growing our fishing and diving opportunities over the next ten-plus years inside these 40-acre permit sites."

Deployment of the JK Patch Reefs cost $60,000, according to Cope, with $55,250 coming from a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission grant.

For boaters, anglers and divers who would like to visit the new reefs, here are their GPS coordinates:

JK Patch Reef South:  27 49.96159 north; 80 21.20722 west.
JK Patch Reef North: 27 50.05250 north; 80 21.28640 west.