First artificial reef deployment marks the beginning of 32-acre underwater reef park in Palm Beach County

delray dredge artificial reef

This is the first phase of reef deployment at the new 32-acre site named “Delray Dredge” off Palm Beach County Florida.

No Shoes Reefs partnered with Palm Beach County Reefs, CCA Florida, Reef Ball Foundation, Sandoway Discovery Center and Global SubDive to deploy 130,000 pounds of goliath reef balls

delray dredge artificial reef

It was a beautiful day to be out on the treasure coast.

No Shoes Reefs, a grassroots organization committed to creating healthier oceans and spearheaded by Kenny Chesney, joins forces with Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA Florida), Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management, Sandoway Discovery Center Reef Ball Foundation and Global SubDive to deploy 13, 10,000-pound goliath reef balls, about .5 miles off Delray Beach, creating “No Shoes Reefs 4.” This kicks off development for a 32-acre underwater reef park.

delray dredge artificial reef

No Shoes Reefs streamed the entire deployment on their social media platforms, see the full video below.

Global SubDive’s Go America vessel dropped the 7-by-6-feet reef balls, donated by No Shoes Reefs and Reef Ball Foundation, in the Delray Dredge Hole, the pre-permitted artificial reef site roughly 0.35-mile long by 0.13-mile wide. The reef site is located offshore just over 0.5 miles east of Delray Beach, Florida (26º 27.178/-80º 02.739). No Shoes Reefs 4 takes its name from the reef’s four partners — and will provide long-term educational opportunities for the students of Palm Beach County through the Sandoway Discover Center’s ongoing educational programs. These educational opportunities will necessitate an ongoing reef monitoring program. NSR4 will also provide a long-term economic boost for the County, as well as a positive impact on the marine species, tourism, and on the local fishing and diving community for many years to come.

delray dredge artificial reef

The project is a collaboration of No Shoes Reefs, CCA Florida, Palm Beach County, and the Reef Ball Foundation.

“No Shoes Reefs is an extension of how I have tried to live for many, many years,” says Chesney. “Love the water, give back to the water. Many people don’t realize both how fragile and resilient the ocean’s ecosystems are, and I think it’s the small projects that raise awareness on local levels that help people understand the ocean is a living thing. Our partners have been so tireless in terms of raising money, awareness and doing the actual work – and it’s a wonderful way to build the No Shoes Nation community of people who care about the ocean, the beach and our whole way of life.”

delray dredge artificial reef

Artificial reefs initiate the development of natural, thriving habitats for various species of fish, invertebrates, and other marine life

This deployment will create a foundation for natural habitat development and also provide divers the opportunity to explore dozens of future underwater acreages. Once complete, the 32-acre artificial reef will include countless paths for underwater enthusiasts to discover new marine habitats from unique seagrasses to variety of fish species.

delray dredge artificial reef

No Shoes Reefs is a grassroots effort to bring awareness and support to Ocean Habitat built around the lifestyle of founder, Kenny Chesney.

“Improving and creating sustainable fisheries and protecting Florida’s marine environment is CCA Florida’s lifeblood,” CCA Florida Director of Habitat and Environmental Restoration Frank Gidus said. “We’re honored to be part of this reef project and partner with No Shoes Reef, as it’s a symbiotic relationship sharing the same goal – to improve our coastal environments and waterways for today and for generations to come.”

delray dredge artificial reef

Artificial reefs are useful tools for restoring reef systems to a natural and productive balance.

Artificial reefs initiate the development of natural, thriving habitats for various species of fish, invertebrates, and other marine life, such as smaller organisms that are vital food sources for other marine species, with the overall goal to create an ever-evolving ecosystem while enhancing fisheries, improving water quality and providing new opportunities for local anglers.

delray dredge artificial reef

Each of the reef balls is adorned with the No Shoes Reefs plaque on the top.

No Shoes Reefs and Reef Ball Foundation donated the 13 reef balls along with four flatbed trailers to transport the Go America vessel. Funds were secured from proceeds of eco-friendly No Shoes Reefs products with partners Deep Apprel, SiliPint and RePatriot Flag. Additionally, CCA Florida secured funding from IMPACT100 Palm Beach County, earning a merit award in the Environment and Animal Welfare category and receiving $13,000 during the 2020 Grand Awards.

Contact: Mary Hillyer Peelen| 407.617.0604 | mhpeelen@ccaflorida.org

About No Shoes Reefs

No Shoes Reefs, an evolving group of Brands, Ocean Habitat Conservationists Organizations and people working together to help Kenny make a difference for our oceans. With the overarching ethos One Reef At A Time, the loose-knit web of contributors are aligned to not just protect, but create new living reefs to provide environments for all form of aquatic life.. www.noshoesreefs.org.

About CCA Florida

The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) was founded in 1977 after drastic commercial overfishing along the Texas coast decimated redfish and speckled trout populations. One of 19 state chapters, CCA Florida became the fifth state chapter in 1985. A 501(c)3 non-profit, the purpose of CCA is to advise and educate the public on conservation of marine resources. Through habitat restoration projects, water quality initiatives and fisheries advocacy, CCA Florida works with its over 18,000 members including recreational anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to conserve and enhance marine resources and coastal environments. Join the conversation on Facebook or learn more at ccaflorida.org.

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