Reefs in Fort Myers and Southwest Florida
Marine conservation is one of the most important aspects of our work here at Good Time Charters. We strive through education, fantastic tours and fun to create an atmosphere that encourages a deeper look into the natural world around us here on Fort Myers Beach. The waters around us are a bounty and haven to wildlife that is not only enjoyed by viewing but also for fishing and delicious dining from out of the deep.
One organization that is making folks aware of all this is Lee Reefs, a group that is involved in creating artificial reefs in the waters off of our coast. Artificial reefs have been implemented since the early 90’s and are becoming more and more important in the conservation of many different species. Many different materials are used to create the reefs. Concrete blocks, old barges, ships that are scuttled all being used far underwater as artificial habitats which compliment nature’s own outcropping and sea ledges. After submersion these areas monitored constantly by scientists and observers to calculate the benefit of each reef.
These habitats provide many benefits such as shelter, food sources, spawning grounds and more to our native fish populations. Grounds for filter feeding which cleans our waters are also created in these underwater structures.
One of the famous stories of Lee County reef creation is that of the SS Mohawk. This ship was commissioned in 1935 and was one of the vessels utilized in the escort operations during World War II. She was the last remaining vessel of the Atlantic Fleet. In 2012 she made her way from Key West to our shores where she was sunk to create an artificial reef Instead of the scrap heap, she now lives on as home to many thousands of sea creatures.
Check out this list of reef etiquette should you go diving:
An artificial reef map of the waters off Lee County: