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 Lakes, Estuaries
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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

  • Read the latest edition of the Lake Worth Lagoon E-News [LINK]
  • Read the Fall 2015 edition of Environmental Times [PDF]
  • Become a Natural Area Youth Explorer by completing a Scavenger Hunt at a local natural area! [PDF]
  • Watch this touching footage on the Andrew "Red" Harris Artificial Reef deployed last week 1 mile offshore from the Jupiter Inlet [VIDEO]
  • Operation Clean Sweep is a mobile pesticide collection program offering free pick up of the first 500 lbs for farms, nurseries, pest control companies, and golf courses. Visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's website for more information. [LINK]
  • Stay up to date on our projects with the Department's Monthly Status Reports. [LINK]