Broward Partnerships Creating New Habitat
Members from the Broward County Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association have been hard at work, dedicating time and resources to bring two artificial reef deployments to the area in memorial of John Michael Baker, a member, avid diver and angler who passed away in a tragic boating accident in 2015.
According to Mike Lambrechts, President of the Broward County Chapter of CCA Florida and Habitat Chair, Brock Pecknold, a five year permit has been secured from Broward County for an area just offshore of Fort Lauderdale between Oakland Park Blvd and Birch State Park.
The initial deployment will consist of over one million pounds of concrete at two locations. The first location will be on the sand in approximately 70 feet of water. It will serve as an underwater park for scuba divers and will feature a memorial structure with a plaque for Johnny. The second location will be in about 130 feet directly east of the memorial reef site to serve as an artificial reef for fishermen. Both reefs will be formally named in honor of John Michael Baker and will appear as such on future charts on GPS systems.
Deployment is tentatively scheduled for early to mid August and dates will be announced once they become official. Mike and Brock added that it’s the goal of the Broward Chapter of CCA to deploy more material on an annual basis until the permit expires. This is great news for the future of our local fisheries.
Special thanks are in order to CCA Florida, U.S. Concrete, McCulley Marine, Broward County, St. Lucie County and Robert Carmichael of Brownie’s Marine Group. Without these partners, the John Michael Baker Memorial Reef Project would not be possible.