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 Lakes, Estuaries
and Lagoons

Artificial Reef Directory


Coastal Directory


ERM Directory


Artificial Reefs

Artificial Reefs in Palm Beach County

Voice your opinions on southeast Florida's coral reefs at Our Florida Reefs
Report what you see on the reefs through SEAFAN

The Problem
Marine habitats have been significantly impacted by coastal development, user pressures, and hurricanes. The reduction of these habitats has led to the decline of many marine organisms.

A Remedy
Construct artificial reefs to function as natural reef systems providing habitat for hundreds of species of fish and other marine life.


  • Provide food, shelter, protection, and spawning areas for fish and marine life.
  • Relieve user pressure from natural reefs by providing alternative recreational areas.
  • Support a multi-million dollar industry in Palm Beach County that provides thousands of jobs.
  • Click here to read the 2001 Socioeconomic Study of Reefs in Southeast Florida.

What is an Artificial Reef?
Artificial reefs are man-made habitats placed in areas away from natural reefs that provide a framework for new hard bottom communities to develop. Artificial reefs use materials that mimic natural reef systems such as concrete and limestone. Occasionally ships are deployed, but usually in combination with concrete and limestone to increase habitat diversity.

Palm Beach County's Artificial Reef Program

  • Artificial Reef and Environmental Enhancement Committee (AREEC)
  • Created in 1985 by the Board of County Commissioners, local government officials, commercial and recreational anglers, SCUBA divers, scientists, and conservationists review, discuss, and make recommendations for artificial reef and estuarine enhancement projects.

  • Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
  • Since 1987, ERM has managed the artificial reef program for Palm Beach County. Over 45 vessels, 82,000 tons of concrete, and 130,000 tons of limestone boulders have been deployed to create artificial reefs in the County's nearshore and offshore waters.

  • Palm Beach County Reef Research Team
  • Formed in 1991, this group of volunteer divers monitor marine life on the County's reefs, both natural and artificial, which provides valuable data for management decisions and scientific research.
    To see more on the Reef Research Team, click here.

Artificial Reefs within Palm Beach County

WARNING: Many artificial fishing reefs lie in water depths that exceed the recommended sport diving limitations. Any swimmer, diver, or snorkeler shall approach or visit each artificial reef at his or her own risk. The Palm Beach County Artificial Reef Program and Committee, the Board of County Commissioners of Palm Beach County, and the County of Palm Beach are not responsible for any hazards which may exist or arise on, about, or near the artificial reefs, or for any injuries or fatalities which may occur as a result of any person's presence on, about, or near the artificial reefs.


Related Links
External Link


Current Highlights and Upcoming Events

  • Hungryland Slough Natural Area, including the parking lot, is closed due to prescribed burn activity.
  • Environmental Times Newsletter
    Read the latest edition Spring 2016 for highlights on artificial reefs, climate change, LagoonFest and more. [LINK]
  • Pawpaw Preserve Natural Area
    The draft management plan is now available for public review. Public comments can be emailed to , or can be provided at the April 29, 2016 NAMAC Meeting. Click here for more information on the meeting time and place.[DRAFT PLAN]
  • Instagram Photo Contest: Hug a Tree for Earth Day
    Show off your love for trees and Mother Earth by snapping a picture of a tree-hugger in action during April to celebrate the value Palm Beach County's trees provide to us and the environment. See link for rules and entry information. [PDF]
  • Volunteer Accomplishments in 2015
    See what ERM's volunteers were up to in 2015. [PDF]
  • Mosquito Control Update - Zika Virus
    While ERM's Mosquito Control Division is hard at work taking proactive steps to reducing mosquito popluations learn how you can protect yourself and reduce your exposure to mosquitoe-borne diseases. [PDF]
  • Snail Walk and Talk Sat. April 30th - Winding Waters Natural Area, West Palm Beach
    Join the Snail Lady of Palm Beach County for this hour-long kid-friendly walk and talk to learn the secrets these creepy crawly animals keep hidden under their shells. Registration required. [EVENT FLYER]
  • Scavenger Hunts
    Are available at several natural areas for youngsters to complete to recieve their Natural Area Youth Explorer certificate. [PDF]
  • ERM's Status Reports
    Stay up to date on our projects with these monthly publications. [LINK]