Neighbors, organization install mini reefs to clean water on Fort Myers Beach

Published: December 4, 2019 4:23 PM EST
Updated: December 6, 2019 12:05 PM EST

See something, say something is a popular phrase used these days. A group of neighbors in Southwest Florida decided to change it up a bit: “See something, do something.” The message is part of the neighbor’s effort to clean up the water in their backyards.

A group of neighbors on Fort Myers Beach teamed up with Ocean Habitats to install mini reef along neighbor’s’ docks as part of their initiative to improve water quality.

“You can help so much, and you can do your part,” neighbor Joe Fleming said. “We had over 51 reefs going in today and more at a later date.”

The neighbors paid for the reefs out of their own pockets. These neighbors hope the mini reefs will help keep the water clean on a daily basis.

“It’s an opportunity to remove some of the excess algae in the water that is blooming all the time due to some of our contributions,” said David Wolff, the president of Ocean Habitats. “But it also helps replenish fish supplies and crabs.”

Installation proved to be simple.

“It is all attached by lines, so it’s not going to damage your property at all,” Fleming said.

Fleming said the reefs clean an about 550 million gallons of water over the next year and produce about 25,000 fish, crab and shrimp. Mini reefs range from $100 to $300, and, for this group of neighbors, that’s money well spent.

Experts say cleanup begins immediately once reefs are installed.

“These mini reefs will actually filter on average 30,000 gallons of water a day,” scientist Garrett Stuart said.