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Locally Made 'Mini-Reefs' Helping Replenish Fish Population And Water Quality

Ocean Habitats’ new water-filtering mini-reefs are bringing fish back to local waters in droves.

The reefs, priced at $250 a unit, clean a lot of water. About 30,000 gallons a day.

“In a course of a year, it’ll help about 300 fish get out of their juvenile state to a much larger size and a better chance of reaching maturity to reproduce,” David Wolff of Ocean Habitats, Inc. said.

Wolff says the steady decline in local fish populations and water quality have a lot do with our ever-growing population.

“We want to help replace some of what’s been lost,” he said. “This place is still amazing. But it was even more beautiful in the past.”

Wolff wants to bring Southwest Florida back to where it was. So does Marco Island. It just bought 25. The city already has 500 mini-reefs installed, but only the first 25 were payed for by taxpayers. A total of 32 cities around Florida also have them in place.

“I was originally introduced to this about seven years ago,” said James TImmerman.

He’s been in the Marco Island area for 35 years and was involved with the waterways committee.

“My goal is to allow my children, everybody’s children, to enjoy a little bit of what I had when I came down here,” he said.

The material used should help with that goal. The units are made with polypropylene, a recyclable product.

“These units should out survive the dock they’re under, even if it’s brand new,” he said.

They could out-survive the docks. They could out-survive us. And they could set up future generations with brighter days on the water.