Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Reports

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Four artificial reefs were placed off Broward County in 20 ft of water on 29 March 1993. The reefs were constructed of concrete aggregate tetrahedrons. Each reef contains 25 small ( 3ft/side) and 25 large (4 ft/side) tetrahedrons in a random configuration. Two types of concrete aggregate were used . One is a tire-concrete aggregate which uses tire shreds mixed into the concrete; the other is a standard gravel-concrete aggregate. Two reefs are composed of each type of aggregate . The purpose of the study is to evaluate the tire aggregate, in comparison to standard concrete, as a suitable reef building material . Specifically we are looking at the response of biological communities to the two types of reefs. The reefs are being monitored periodically ( intervals of one mounth or less) and the status of the biological communities assayed through various methodologies, i . e. visual census (fishes), uw- video taping and collection (invertebrates) . The reefs have acquired a diverse community of fishes and invertebrates. We have noted 90 species of fishes and 116 taxa of invertebrates to date; these numbers compare favorable with a similar study in Southern Florida . To this point, we have been unable to see significant differences among the biological communities between the two types of reefs that we can ascribe to difference in construction material . However, because we have only monitored the reefs for 17 months, the data are insufficient to draw valid conclusions concerning the suitability of the tire-concrete aggregate as an artificial reef construction material .


Submitted to Broward County Department of Natural Resource Protection