Lee County wants to build an artificial reef in Gulf of Mexico

Lee County is looking to build another artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico, which is exciting news for fishermen such as Joe Angius. 

“It’s huge,” Angius said. “It plays a big impact not only in our pockets but just our way of life living.” 

Lee County is expected to accept a $120,000 grant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission on Tuesday to help pay for construction.

“It’s really encouraging,” Angius said. “It’s rewarding, and it lets us know that there’s people out there trying to do good for us for the fisherman and for the tourism industry that’s here.” 

Dr. Mike Parsons, a professor of marine science at FGCU, said artificial reefs are a good way of combating the lasting effects of red tide.  

“It will help increase their survivability, so it should mean more fish in the long run,” Parsons said.

The reef will be made with 100 tons of concrete and be placed about 15 miles off shore in the Gulf, joining many others.

“Attracts a lot of the baitfish like I said before the building blocks for those fisheries,” Angius said. “So, it’s going to attract a lot of the wildlife marine life that we desperately need.”

Angius also said these reefs highlight the beauty of marine habitats.  

“Just in awe of what we have here,” Angius said. “It could be the dolphins. It could be any size fish. There’s different colors. There’s different species, several species.” 

Lee County officials said construction will begin next spring.

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