Mini Reefs On Longboat Key

As forecasted in last month’s E-Newsletter, Ocean Habitats, Inc. installed ten under-dock mini reefs at the Mar Vista Restaurant on Longboat Key on May 31st. The installation was made possible via a very generous $3,400 Impact Day Grant from Lucky’s Market in Sarasota. The luncheon demonstration event was initiated by START to introduce mini reefs to 25 attending policy makers from the Manatee and Sarasota County area and members of the press. Articles covering the event appeared in the Longboat Key Observer and the Anna Maria Island Sun.

There are over 2,000 mini reefs all over Florida from Jacksonville to The Keys. They attract water-filtering sea life like sea squirts, crabs and oysters that can filter up to 30,000 gallons of sea water every day removing excess nutrients that can feed algae blooms like red tide. The mini reefs improve water quality in a 12 to 15 feet radius around the dock, increase dissolved oxygen by up to 40% and reduce phosphorus in the water column by 30%. Mini reef owners are especially pleased that the units attract a wide variety of fish species like Mullet and Snook that feed on the reef residents.

Ocean Habitats reports that mini reefs are virtually maintenance free and are built to last for 10 or more years. There are some units that have been in the water for over 15 years. The units are very durable and have consistently weathered storms and hurricanes over the years. Ocean Habitats has only experienced one damaged unit that happened during hurricane Irma when the dock it was attached to collapsed.

Mini reefs come with a Permit waiver from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection because they:

1. Are only installed by Ocean Habitats
2. Can be removed from the water if necessary
3. Float in the water column and do not touch the bottom

You can purchase a mini reef for your own dock from Ocean Habitats on their website at or by calling 800-674-2593. The regular retail price is $250.00 per unit. If you signify START 10 when you place your order, you will earn a 10% discount lowering your cost to $225 per unit. To learn more about how a mini reef can improve water quality in your dock area, contact Ocean Habitat for more details.

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