As we celebrate our 35th year as a chapter, it was important to me as president to facilitate a meaningful community project that would benefit the Treasure Coast. Traditionally, couples give the gift of coral for their 35th wedding anniversary. As a Florida girl, I’m more accustomed to the coral you find underwater versus coral in its gemstone form. And since we are the Treasure Coast, I figured the underwater variety was way more appropriate for this occasion!

So, our chapter’s gift to our community this year is an artificial mini reef to be placed in the North Fork of the St. Lucie River under a dock below the Crosstown Parkway Extension Bridge in Port St. Lucie. This mini reef is capable of filtering an average of 30,000 gallons of water a day and housing 300 fish and 200 crab per year. When placed under the dock, it will create an ecosystem by mimicking the prop roots of a mangrove system, creating an excellent hangout for fish and birds alike. Watch underwater video of existing artificial mini reef and check out the growth!

Our chapter will be selling t-shirts in the next few months, and with the proceeds (approximately $500), we will purchase the artificial mini reef. The funds will also cover the cost of installation. A plaque will be placed on the dock at the reef site commemorating this gift from our chapter. An installation ceremony will be held later this year and I will be working with President Elect Sarah Prohaska to coordinate the event.

You can order your shirts here and then pay for them below. Shirts are uni-sex.

In my current position with Port St. Lucie Utility Systems, I am part of the team behind our St. Lucie River/C-23 Canal Water Quality Project, that when complete, will keep 21% of excess freshwater discharges from entering the North Fork of the St. Lucie River and ultimately the Indian River Lagoon. Excess freshwater throws off the delicate balance of our waterways and can cause algal blooms. I am thrilled that our community project will help benefit the health of the river and its inhabitants.

This project is an excellent opportunity for our chapter to partner with the City of Port St. Lucie to help protect its finest asset—the North Fork of the St. Lucie River!

Jenny Tomes, Past President

Helpful Links:

Artificial mini reef:

Crosstown Parkway Extension Bridge:

Underwater video of existing artificial mini reef:

Port St. Lucie Utility Systems:

St. Lucie River/C-23 Canal Water Quality Project:

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