Artificial Reef Chief
This Tuesday I had the opportunity to meet up with my dad (Keith Kolasa) and artificial reef specialist Tim Mullane in Port St. Joe. We met at their shipyard, Colleen Marine, and got to check out the material that Hernando county is having deployed this summer. All of the material will be loaded on a barge and shipped over through the Gulf of Mexico.
"What a heck of a boat" I thought as we walked up to the barge. I couldn't imagine driving this massive hunk of metal loaded down with tons and tons of concrete all the way back down to Hernando beach, let alone my 100 pound gear-laiden sea kayak.
Later we had walked around the ship yard observing the material that will be placed on the sea floor off Hernando Beach. Concrete pyramids stacked 8 feet tall, cubes and culverts, and other innovative designs were scattered all over the place.
"Everything is made here and designed to provide habitat and structure for the marine organisms" Tim explained. "If you put a buoy down, we can drop it there".
I was definitely excited to see all the reef material before it goes down. I've only ever seen artificial reefs while diving, and it was definitely interesting to see the processes all the structures go through before they get sunk. There's clearly a lot more to artificial reefs than just dropping a bunch of junk in the water and hoping it piles up. It's a strategic process and must be done right. I can't wait to see the results, and I'm honored to be able to help raise funds for such a cause. All the money donated to my expedition will aid in projects of this kind, just on a smaller scale. Hopefully, with enough projects and commitment we can make a difference in our waters and restore the Gulf!